Saturday, July 23, 2011

The NRA Comes to Norway

The events are eerily similar.

In 1995, NRA member Timothy McVeigh bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City because he was a gunloon who was convinced the Government was going to take away his guns.  The motivation behind McVeigh's act of terror was create an uprising against a "tyrannical" Government. Tim McVeigh had a long history with the NRA and gunloonery; in fact, one could say the NRA created Tim McVeigh and was a co-conspirator in the terrorist attack in Oklahoma City.  McVeigh's extreme views were shaped by the NRA and militia extremism; the bomb he used came from a design from an NRA bulletin board.

The recent attacks in Norway were fairly identical.  The alleged terrorist had ties to right wing extremist groups and militias and believed an attack would create an uprising against a Government he disagreed with.

It can be argued that McVeigh was successful.  The NRA created someone who was able to kill over 300 Americans without any damage to itself.  In fact, the NRA is able to attack the BATF--McVeigh's primary target without penalty.

Now, what I know about Norway is about as much as Jon Sullivan (Linoge) knows about anything; that is, very little.  But I can guarantee an attack of this magnitude will cause Norwegians to demand stricter gun control as a response.  Why?  Because they understand they have a problem and are willing to work to prevent other such tragedies.  Sadly, the US will keep learning the lesson over and over again.

More on the Norwegian Right Wing White Gun Loving Terrorist

From the AP, by way of the STrib:

Suspected gunman's background puzzles police in Norway massacre, no known links to extremists

STOCKHOLM - The 32-year-old suspected of massacring at least 80 young people at a summer camp and setting off a bomb in downtown Oslo that killed at least seven is a mystery to investigators: a right-winger with anti-Muslim views but no known links to hardcore extremists.
"He just came out of nowhere," a police official told The Associated Press.
Public broadcaster NRK and several other Norwegian media identified the suspected attacker as Anders Behring Breivik, a blond and blue-eyed Norwegian who expressed right-wing and anti-Muslim views on the Internet. Police have the suspect in custody.
Norwegian news agency NTB said Breivik legally owned several firearms and belonged to a gun club. He ran an agricultural firm growing vegetables, an enterprise that could have helped him secure large amounts of fertilizer, a potential ingredient in bombs.
But he didn't belong to any known factions in Norway's small and splintered extreme right movement, and had no criminal record except for some minor offenses, the police official told AP.
"He hasn't been on our radar, which he would have been if was active in the neo-Nazi groups in Norway," he said. "But he still could be inspired by their ideology."
He spoke on condition of anonymity because those details had not been officially released by police. He declined to name the suspect.
Neo-Nazi groups carried out a series of murders and robberies in Scandinavia in the 1990s but have since kept a low profile.
"They have a lack of leadership. We have pretty much control of those groups," the police official said.
Breivik's registered address is at a four-story apartment building in western Oslo. A police car was parked outside the brick building early Saturday, with officers protecting the entrance.
National police chief Sveinung Sponheim told public broadcaster NRK that the gunman's Internet postings "suggest that he has some political traits directed toward the right, and anti-Muslim views, but whether that was a motivation for the actual act remains to be seen."

Here He Is - The Amazing Anders

Breivik is a member of the Oslo Pistol Club and has three weapons registered in his name, according to leading Norwegian newspaper VG, citing Norway's official weapons register. They are a Glock pistol, a rifle and a shotgun, VG reported.

You know what's happening right now on the pro-gun blogs, you know the ones who keep accusing us of "dancing in the blood" of gun violence victims? Well, they're furiously typing out the facts right now which prove registration of guns doesn't work. Norway has that, and it didn't stop this fanatic from killing people.

The fact is, the extreme rarity of these incidents in Norway proves just the opposite. In addition, the gun guys have to own this guy as one of their own, since he belonged to a gun club, they have to list him with the right-wing fanatics who've done violence, and they have to admit that stringent gun control laws do not equal gun banning or lead to gun confiscations.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

The Norwegian Terrorist Attack - white, right wing, christian fundamentalist terrorist

Cross posted from Penigma, because I believe this is an important issue. Please note that MikeB's blog roll is different from the penigma blog roll; but there are plenty of working links to the Cole post.

The Norwegian Terrorist Attack: White, Right Wing, Fundamentalist Christian Terrorists

Let me direct our readers to a blog from our blog roll which has addressed this better than anything I can write, Informed Comment, Juan Cole's blog.  You can access the pertinent post by clicking here, or by clicking on the listing for it on our blog roll.  It is excellent, and rather than being ideology driven, it is factual.

Their headline: White Christian Fundamentalist Terrorism in Norway.

That the horrible terrorist attacks in Oslo on Friday that left some 90 persons or more dead– a bombing of the prime minister’s office and shootings at a Labor Party youth camp– were allegedly committed by a blonde, far right wing Norwegian fundamentalist Christian rather than by a radical Muslim group is being treated as a matter of surprise in some quarters. But if those journalists and analysts had been paying attention, they would not be surprised at all.
Europol reports have long made it clear that the biggest threat of terrorism in Europe comes from separatist movements, then from the fringe left, then from the far right. In 2008, only one terrorist attack out of hundreds in Europe was committed by radical Muslims. In 2010, according to Europol [pdf], 7 persons were killed in terrorist attacks. Some 160 of these attacks that year were carried out by separatists. The number launched by people of Muslim heritage? 3. It would be silly to maintain that Muslim radicals do not pose a threat of terrorism; indeed, many plots were broken up by European police. But as an actually-existing phenomenon, terrorism in Europe is mainly the work of Christian-heritage people. For more on the Norwegian far right, see
Cole addresses a topic I have written about on Penigma, the crisis in this country of Islamophobia, which is actively fear-mongered by the right wing of our politics.  It is not a problem unique to Norway by any means.  We have only to listen to presidential candidate hopeful Herman Cain, or look at the provisions of the Iowa pledge signed by Michele Bachmann and Ick, er, Rick Santorum, provisions which are promoted by Gingrich, Huckabee, Pawlenty and pretty much all of the other GOP hopefuls.  We have only to look at the number of states which have passed incredibly stupid and unnecessary legislation about Sharia law, which is NOT in any way, shape or form a threat to our law, our autonomy, or our way of life, legislation which singles out and demonizes a legitimate religion for treatment that is different from any other religion.

The right uses all kinds of fears to gain support, mostly from low-information people who believe wildly inaccurate things about people they identify as different from themselves, as different from conservative, white, Christians.  It is what that right will do, both legally and illegally, that threatens our life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and our very multi-cultural melting pot American way of life.
Quoting again from Cole:
The suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, is anti-multiculturalist and believes that the Qur’an commands Muslims to be extremists. His attack on the Labour Party appears to have derived in part from its insufficient hate of people of other cultures. Breivik’s discourse, about Islam and the Qur’an being *essentially* evil, is part of the Islamophobia promoted by some right wing forces in the west; and his actions show where that kind of thinking can lead.
Read Professor Cole; his post is EXCELLENT.  And then take another long hard look at the message of the right wing media, and the politicians who want to run for President (and governor, and senator or congressman).  It will make you think, and it might even scare you a little.  It should shake you up, because to be safe, we must focus proportionately on the actual, factual sources of potential terrorism, and not be distracted or diverted by Islamophobia, no matter how hard the right tries to make it an issue.

The Only Ones

I can understand why Fat White Man hates it when they get special treatment.

What do you think the cop was so upset about? He could have been a bullying rageaholic. Or, he could have realized with fright that he'd had himself in the back of the car with the flashlight before having secured the driver and his gun.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

American Gun Owners - A Breed Apart

Two American tourists spent five days in jail, put up $50,000 each in bail and are facing three years behind bars after border guards seized a small arsenal of firearms at the U.S.-Canada border crossing last week.

Danny Cross, brother-in-law Hugh Barr and their wives were on their way to Alaska to celebrate Cross's wedding anniversary when they were stopped at the Aldergrove-Huntington border on July 11.

Cross is 64 and from Texas; Barr is 70 and from California.

The Canada Border Services Agency said that when officers searched their 2008 Winnebago after they said they had nothing to declare, the officers found a derringer-type pistol, a cowboy-style revolver, three semi-automatic pistols and a shotgun.
As gun ownership increases, so do incidents like this at the Canadian border which show the absolute thoughtlessness and stupidity of some gun owners. I suppose like real smuggling, many more get away with it.

I don't feel it's safe for people who would do something this stupid to own guns in the first place. Maybe we need to organize an I.Q. or basic literacy test along with the background check. For sure, the standards are way too low naw and something needs to be done.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Arizona Gun Sales at a Record Pace

The Tucson Citizen reports

In Arizona, it is likely that more than 200,000 new weapons will be put in buyers’ hands after background checks this year. That figure doesn’t include firearms purchased at gun shows and through private transactions. Such non-tracked sales are thought to account for 40 percent of all sales, adding about 150,000 guns purchased annually. The estimated sales total: about 350,000 guns per year.

Retailers report that demand for small handguns that can be concealed in a purse or briefcase has soared, while sales of rifles and shotguns have remained flat or declined.
Ya get that? Thousands, maybe tens-of-thousands of untrained, unqualified people will be carrying guns in Arizona from now on. Do you think that'll do more good than harm?

Although background checks are required for guns purchased through licensed retailers, no such screening is needed for guns purchased at the more than 20 major gun shows held in Arizona each year or through private transactions among individuals.

Non-licensed sales, which are hard to track, are thought to represent about 40 percent of the approximately 20 million guns that are sold in the U.S. each year.
This is the number-one problem. It's not theft, which the pro gun guys keep pushing as the main source of guns which flow into the criminal world. They do that so they can claim to be victims, innocent victims, which is debatable anyway since so many of them leave guns lying around the house for the burglars to take. But by far the two main sources of guns which end up in criminal hands are done through legal sales under today's pathetic gun control laws.

Private sales which require no background check as well as straw purchases which do, account for most of the guns used in crime. You know why they're so difficult to trace?  There's no licensing and registration, that's why. 

With a properly enforced licensing of gun owners and registration of each gun bought to one of those licensees, along with requiring background checks on every sale, we'd have the problem under control.  So, why do so many gun owners resist this so vehemently?

The claim we most often hear to explain why they won't accept licensing and registration is because confiscation of guns would follow. I don't believe that and I don't think they do either. Given the American culture and the proliferation of guns, I don't think we can realistically expect anything like that. There would first have to be radical changes in the government and its relationship with citizens, the entire system of democratic elections and power brokering would have to be changed first.  No, that's not the real reason they resist.

They resist for the simple reason they don't want to be inconvenienced. Please keep in mind that most people, even most gun owners, do not oppose such initiatives which would obviously do good.  It's the very loud and well-financed minority of extremists that we hear this from. Self-centered in the extreme, they just don't want to be inconvenienced, never mind the nearly 100 a day who are killed with guns or the 200 others a day who are wounded. Never mind that many of them are innocent, truly innocent victims. None of that matters to the gun-rights extremist.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

You, Too, Can Argue Like a Gunloon

We've heard it before.  Here's how it works.  Gunloon wants to argue how prohibition of something, anything fails to 100%, completely eradicate undesirable things is a failure. Commenters TS , aZred have all attempted this logical fallacy.
If we use the same logic, we could easily say that since medicine fails to cure each and every patient--medicine doesn't work.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Why Cenk Left MSNBC

California May Abolish the Death Penalty

ABC reports (suggested by TS)

Stephen Colbert on Alan West

These Shootings Seem Alarmingly Frequent

Reminding readers that Minnesota is considered one of the safer states, including safer from gun violence.  In Minneapolis, the largest city in Minnesota, police recently pointed out that crime is down, including violent gun crimes, a six year trend.

And yet, Minnesota still seems to have what seems to me to be far too much gun violence, which is why I write about it here, to raise awareness rather than having the news of another shooting simply slide off our consciousness as if we were teflon coated, immune to the information because we are so habituated to it.

From the latest STrib:
A 28-year-old man who was shot several times at his Champlin home early Sunday has been identified as Tyler James Dunn.
He was in stable condition Thursday after being taken to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Champlin Police Chief Dave Kolb said.
Police were called about 3:15 a.m. Sunday about the shooting in the 300 block of W. Hayden Lake Road. Kolb said Monday that the shooting was not believed to be random.
In a news release Thursday, he said the incident remains under investigation.

Another Dead 3-Year-Old - Cop's Son

Authorities say the 3-year-old son of a suburban St. Louis police officer fatally shot himself accidentally in the chest with the law enforcer's personal gun.

You know what the police chief said? It's "a terrible thing," and "a shock." Well I guess that's true as far as it goes. But how about the negligence and the stupidity and the easily preventable tragic aspect of it?

What's your opinion? Should the dad get some counselling and go back to work? Is losing a kid enough punishment?

I say no, not by a longshot.  Although, jail time is not appropriate, in my opinion, being fired from the job and losing gun rights for life should be applied. This man is dangerous and his family and friends and neighbors need to be protected from him as far as that's possible.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Domestic North Carolina - 3 Dead

A man is in police custody after his 6-year-old son and two adult friends of the family were found shot dead in a Greensboro apartment complex early Thursday.

Also, a 12-year-old boy and the slain boy's mother were wounded. The boy's mother, Hli Wie, 29, was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for treatment for a gunshot wound to the hand.
The story's got everything in it, an assault rifle, a crazy dad, cops being run over by cars, bystanders running home to get their guns to help out, I mean everything.

The only thing missing is the part where, along with the restraining order on this dangerous gun owner, the cops went to his home and car and place of business and removed his guns.

What do you think? Isn't that the part that's often missing in cases of domestic violence? They issue the restraining order and then what, think everything will be fine?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Different Murdoch the Bad Guy in the News

I don't doubt that the video shows that this judge behaved badly; on the other hand, the thought which occurred to me was.......if this judge was so bad, why return eight times?  And how did she manage to record this if the oral sex act was against her will?  Did the judge just say, sure, go ahead and film me forcing myself on you?  That doesn't sound reasonable.  So...if it were covert filming, how was that accomplished.

No guns involved so far (unless that turns out to be the means of coercion at some later point), but this was just an intriguing story, one which I thought posed some interesting opportunities for applying critical thinking.

District Court Judge Albert S. "Pat" Murdoch was arrested Tuesday, July 19, on charges he sexually assaulted a prostitute after an undercover officer bought a video recording of the alleged attack, according to a criminal complaint. staff and news service reports
updated 7/20/2011 3:19:14 PM ET 2011-07-20T19:19:14
A state judge in New Mexico is facing charges that he sexually assaulted a prostitute in his home, a crime that police say was videotaped by the victim out of concern for her safety.
State District Judge Albert S. “Pat” Murdoch, 59, was arrested Tuesday and charged with criminal sexual penetration and intimidation of a witness, NBC affiliate KOB-TV in Albuquerque reported Wednesday. He was released on a $50,000 bond overnight, it said.
A criminal complaint said the prostitute told police that she had visited Murdoch approximately eight times in his home after he answered an online personals ad and exchanged money for sexual acts.
She said that the first time she met him, he said he wanted to perform oral sex on her but she refused. But Murdoch nonetheless “forced himself on her to perform the oral sex,” according to the complaint.
She later videotaped another encounter with the judge where he again performed oral sex on her against her will, it said.
It said she did so after she began posing hypothetical situations regarding a woman making allegations against him and he responded that “...he would use the police and his connections to take care of the situation," according to the complaint.
The prostitute also told police that she saw what appeared to be child pornography on the judge’s computer on another occasion, the complaint said. Albuquerque Deputy Police Chief Paul Feist told Reuters on Wednesday that investigators were “trying to determine if there were other people involved or other locations.”
No attorney was listed for on Murdoch, a veteran criminal judge, on the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court’s Web docket and calls to his home and office were not answered.
KOB reported that the Judicial Standards Committee was meeting to consider suspending Murdoch until the case is resolved.
Murdoch was due for his first court appearance on Thursday, but the Albuquerque Journal reported that the appearance was likely to be delayed by judges who have worked with the veteran judge recusing themselves from hearing his case.
Reuters contributed to this report.

A Texas Gun Violence Story with Some Interesting Twists

As I listen to those who make vile claims in support of their Islamophobia, like so many on the right speaking out of fear and ignorance, including those who are hysterical about the non-existent threat of sharia law, this should be a potent example of the reality of mainstream Islamic practice.  It is incidentally a commentary on Texas gun violence.  I have to wonder how easily the shooter obtained the gun, and if it was done legally or illegally.

from MSNBC, Crime and Courts

Attacker executed despite victim’s efforts to save him

Federal judge rejects novel bid to use 'victim rights' law to buy time for condemed

Brandon Thibodeaux for .

By Kari Huus Reporter
Image: Rais Bhuiyan
Brandon Thibodeaux for
Rais Bhuiyan launched a campaign to halt the execution of Mark Stroman, who shot him in the face during a 2001 rampage that left two other men dead. Bhuiyan made a last-ditch effort to win a stay using a novel argument based on the Texas Victims' Rights Bill.

The state of Texas executed convicted murderer Mark Stroman on Wednesday after rejecting the last move in a campaign to spare his life by a survivor of the former meth addict’s Sept. 11-inspired shooting spree.
Stroman was given a lethal injection of drugs and pronounced dead at 8:53 p.m. local time, Michelle Lyons, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman, said.
"The Lord Jesus Christ be with me," Stroman said, according to Lyons. "I am at peace. Hate is going on in this world, and it has to stop. One second of hate will cause a lifetime of pain. I'm still a proud American. Texas loud, Texas proud. God bless America, God bless everyone."
Dallas resident Rais Bhuiyan, one of three men shot by Stroman in 2001 — and the sole survivor — had lobbied for months for Texas to commute Stroman’s death penalty in favor of a life sentence without parole. The 37-year-old tech professional argued that his Muslim faith calls on him to forgive and seek mercy for Stroman, 41.
He made an unprecedented argument early Wednesday in an Austin court based on the Texas Victims Bill of Rights, requesting a stay of execution so that he can pursue his right to mediation with the offender — a move that could have postponed Stroman’s execution for months or even years.
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the argument, but a late state court appeal by Bhuiyan in Austin delayed the execution, local media reported, citing The Associated Press.
The last-minute lawsuit — naming Gov. Rick Perry as a plaintiff — was an ironic twist on the state law, as “victims’ rights” are often invoked to justify harsh penalties for offenders.
“Plaintiff strongly desires mediation and reconciliation, and has for a long time,” the legal complaint said, alleging that the state never informed Bhuiyan of this right. “(His) own ability to reach a cathartic point in his own recovery depends very much on his being able to make full efforts to help Mark Stroman to reach his full potential, and to overcome the very negative lessons that he was taught as a child. … This will inevitable be a process that will take time."
Injury… outweighed
After several hours U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel issued an order denying a stay of execution, saying that the case had failed to meet several prerequisites that would give the federal court jurisdiction to intervene. Among them, Bhuiyan had failed to show “a substantial threat of irreparable injury if the injunction is not issued,” he said.
A ruling in Bhuiyan’s favor “would allow litigants to delay an execution indefinitely by filing a succession of requests for injunctive relief in unrelated civil actions mere days before an execution,” Yeakel wrote. “… Thus, the irreparable injury asserted by Bhuiyan — his claim of violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights statute being rendered moot — is outweighed by the damage to the operation of the criminal justice system as a whole that would result from this Court’s granting the request.”

How Do You Regulate a Black Market?

Sebastian wrote a typically sarcastic post, to which his usual fanboys all fluttered around with agreement and applause. It contained the mandatory "An illegal market in Chicago? How could that happen?" Don't these guys get tired of the same old nonsense?

In a fit of sappy sacrasm, he asked, "How do you regulate a black market?"

Here's my comment:

You really want to know how to regulate a black market? You turn off the tap. You require all guns bought by anyone anywhere to require a background check first. Then you license gun owners and register guns. Then you require gun owners to store their guns safely at home.

Those measures would stop the gun flow. Over about ten years you'd see dramatic improvement, not in regulating the black market and you sarcastically said, but in controlling the source.

And what is that source, it's you Sebastian and all your friends. It's the gun manufacturers and the FFL guys and all you civilian gun owners who let your guns so easily slip into that black market. Take responsibility for your part in keeping things the way they are, or actually making them worse.

You're responsible.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Domestic Violence in South Carolina

At a rural convenience store Wednesday night, a Jonesville man shot a woman four times, pointed a gun at a child related to her and fired into the store's beer cooler when a customer ran for cover inside.

Wednesday night's shooting was the second related to domestic violence in Union County this week. A Jonesville man shot his wife in the head before killing himself on Monday.

“Domestic situations get more officers hurt than anything else we have to deal with,” Taylor said. “There's no break from domestic calls.”
I'm sure the cops are right about domestic violence calls being the most dangerous for them, but I couldn't help but think they're much worse for the women.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Ellettsville Indiana Gun Shop Shut Down reports on this exceedingly rare situation.
An Ellettsville gun shop has been shut down after an investigation revealed the owner wasn’t doing the necessary background checks on his customers or making them fill out paperwork before they purchased guns.
Everyone should realize I was being facetious when I said "exceedingly rare," or was that irony? The point is, unscrupulous FFL guys are no rarer than unscrupulous anything else, car mechanics who cheat the customers or candy-store owners who short-change people.

The oft-repeated claim that gun owners are more responsible because they own a deadly weapon or that gun shop owners are more careful because they could lose their license if they're not, is all hogwash. You've got crooks and incompetents everywhere.

And let's not forget the other type of gun dealer. Get a load of what this nut had to say for himself.

“I destroyed all my paper and I just don’t care,” Mullendore said, according to the press release. “I’m going to give people the guns they need. This is God’s shop and what (God) wants to do with it is going to happen.”
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

CCW Holder Calls 911

Yes..this so winning on many levels.

'He's Mad...He's Got The Gun':
On July 11, Jordan's wife, Melissa, called 911 late in the evening. She immediately hung up after an emergency dispatcher answers. The Dispatch described what happened when 911 operators called back:
"Just please get somebody here ... My husband, please."

"This is the first time I've called," she said. "He's done this a lot. I can't put up with this anymore."

"He's had some drinks," she said. "He was pushing me around, throwing stuff. Because I called you, he wants - he says it's over."

Still better:
Both Jordans have concealed carry permits, Plunderbund reports, and Melissa later told dispatchers that "he never threatened her with a gun." But she did say that Kris "started arguing with her and pushing around."

This story has the whole gunloon repertoire: GOP State Senator owned by the NRA, lots of guns in the house, CCW holders, drinking, domestic violence.

All that's missing is a shirtless Jordan being wrestled to the ground in his front yard, by police next to his car that's up on blocks while being taped for an upcoming Cops episode.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And More Violence in Minnesota

The same question that always comes to mind was raised once again - where do these guys get sufficient illegal weapons for this illega;l activity?  The guns don't start out that way, and they appear to be available in quantity.  Why? And what more can we do to keep guns out of the hands of violent, criminal people, other than arming our population as vigilantes?
Another piece from the STrib:

Suspected Minneapolis gang leader denied lower bail

Lower my bail so I can get out of jail, Joseph "Little Joe" Gustafson Jr. pleaded. My wife has a chronic illness, our three boys have needs and my north Minneapolis home was ravaged by the May tornado.
But there was another side to the alleged Beat Down Posse leader that Hennepin District Judge Kerry Meyer considered Tuesday. Gustafson, 36, is the subject of a protective order filed by his wife. Not to mention a police report that indicates he wants his former right-hand man, and now co-defendant, dead.
"Mr. Gustafson, I know you're frustrated by the amount of time this has taken, but what I have to examine is the likelihood that you'll reappear in court and the public safety issue," Meyer said. " ... The new charges are extremely serious."
So serious that bail will remain at $750,000 for Gustafson, who is charged with 14 felonies, alleging crimes dating back to 2005 that included extortion, assault, robbery, kidnapping, and weapons and drug trafficking. He is the alleged ringleader of a brutal gang called Beat Down Posse.
Gustafson's father, Joseph Robert "Big Joe" Gustafson Sr., 55, was arrested earlier this month following seven felony charges, including racketeering, attempted first-degree murder and arson. Authorities say Gustafson Sr. was the founder and "top dog" of the gang.
Charges against father, son and Troy Neuberger, 38, indicate the group terrorized north Minneapolis drug dealers and even their own gang members who stepped out of line. Neuberger has since agreed to questioning by police.
Attorney Jill Brisbois, representing the younger Gustafson after his longtime attorney, Joseph Kaminsky, stepped down, asked Meyer to reduce his bail to $110,000. She said Gustafson Jr.'s wife is ill with Huntington's disease and he needs to help care for their sons. The May 22 tornado was "extremely destructive" to his home, she said.
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney William Richardson strongly opposed the move, saying, "The case for stronger bail is higher than in the past."
Richardson said Gustafson Jr.'s wife has a no-contact order against him and that he allegedly contacted co-defendants and witnesses. He presented a police report in which Neuberger alleged that he heard through someone that Gustafson Jr. "wished for Mr. Neuberger to be killed."
Gustafson Jr. often shook his head and whispered into his attorney's ear while Richardson spoke. His next court appearance is set for Aug. 26.
Abby Simons

More Minnesota Gun Violence

This is the latest gun violence incident, although in the past week there was a press conference to announce that crime continued to be down as part of a six year trend, including violent crime like this.
From the STrib, by staff writers Matt McKinney and Paul Walsh:

Man fatally shot in south Minneapolis home

A 25-year-old man was found shot dead in his south Minneapolis home overnight, and police tracked a bloody trail from the crime scene in pursuit of the killer.
Police were called to the home, on 45th Avenue and just north of East Lake Street, shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday. A man inside was dead by the time police arrived. His identity has yet to be released.
No arrests have been made.
The victim and his wife-to-be had moved into the home within the past year, neighbors said.
"It's weird because I just met him," said Ashley Crain, who lives two doors north of the killing. "We were sleeping and our neighbor was getting murdered."
Crain said the man worked for a major financial planning company and described him as a pleasant person.
"They seemed like real sweethearts," Jerry Wehrley, another neighbor, said of the victim and his fiancee. "We're pretty spooked."
A law-enforcement bloodhound followed a trail of blood drips from the home's side door, through the back yard and north through the alley. Police used ultraviolet lights in an effort to track the blood, and they removed the side door and boarded up the home.
This part of the city is not a troublesome area for police.
"You just don't expect to have these things happen," Crain said.
Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Michele Bachmann's Headaches

via Fuck Conservatives

Does she own guns, by the way?

Fun With Guns

For the "Semper Paratus" Guys

If you're the sort of person who worries about having jackboot thugs breaking down your door and taking your laptop, you might consider this "Media Artist Contingency Plan," which helpfully marks off the spot you should aim your high-speed drill if you need to nuke your hard-drive in a hurry. Of course, full-disk encryption is a little less messy and more reliable (though perhaps also a little less stylish and dramatic).

Who's Winning in Tennessee? reports

Facing criticism for failure to expand gun owner rights this year, Republican state legislators have established a task force to set an agenda for passage of pro-gun legislation next year.

All seven members of the Republican Caucus Firearms Task Force, appointed last week by House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, are outspoken proponents of Second Amendment rights.

Two of the members are Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, who unsuccessfully sponsored a "guns on campus" bill this year, and Rep. Josh Evans, R-Greenbrier, who has unsuccessfully sponsored "guns in cars" bills.
After all the boasting and bragging on the part of the gun-rights advocates, I suppose it's a bit embarrassing that even in Tennessee they've had some difficulty.

One of the proposals for next year is "Constitutional Carry," which is so unrealistic that only a couple of the most extremist gun-loving States allow it.

What's your opinion? If they can't even pass these types of laws in Tennessee, in the wake of the major "victories" of Heller and McDonald, and with the god-given 2nd Amendment protection behind them, what hope is there for the future of the gun-rights movement?

None, and I'll tell you why. The families and friends of the 100,000 victims of gun violence every year will continue to accumulate in numbers and power, year after year. The citizens at large, even the gun-owners among them will become more and more fed up with the inevitable cycle of gun flow into the criminal world and all its implications. The balance of the Supreme Court will change at some point.

Prediction: by the second half of Obama's second term, the gun-rights movement will be all but crushed by common sense and reasonableness.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Saddle Up, It's Rodeo Time

Mark Stroman is scheduled to be executed today. That would be Texas-sanctioned pre-meditated murder. The unusual thing about this case is the only surviving victim has forgiven his attacker and opposes his execution.

What's your opinion? Is the death penalty warranted in cases like this?


Every day's a banquet of winning for my side.  And it's just going to get better.
How can you say this!!??! sputters the Gunloon Lemmings.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

For the "Semper Paratus" Guys

via the Every Day No Days Off Gun Blog

It Was NOT a Terrible Accident - It Was Criminal Negligence


Jack Puglisi Dies

 CNN published the obit of the nationally-known gun collector

After returning to Duluth, Puglisi operated a used car lot for a time, and in the 1970s owned Puglisi Toyota.

But he was best known for his gun emporium on Commonwealth Avenue — which in addition to guns also carried some celebrity memorabilia.
Used car dealer turned gun collector. What do you make of that? You know what they say in the used car business? "There's an ass for every seat." I wonder if he had a similar attitude towards his gun customers.

Please leave a comment.

Rachel on the Rupert Murdock Scandal

Largest Gun Ever Built

The Gustav had a bore diameter of 800 mm (just under a yard) and used 3000 pounds, more than a ton, of smokeless powder charge to fire its two primary shell types: a 10,584 lb. high explosive (HE) shell and a 16,540 lb. concrete-piercing shell—roughly the weight of an unladen 71-passenger school bus, travelling at 2700ft/s.

With a maximum elevation of 48 degrees, the HE shell could hit a target 29 miles away, while the bunker-buster could nail anything within 23 miles—both with reasonable accuracy. The Gustav could basically fire a shell over the widest point of Long Island, NY and hit nothing but water. If it did hit, the HE would leave a 30-foot deep crater while the piercing round could penetrate as much as 264 feet of reinforced concrete (or height of the Seattle Exchange Building).

The Gustav, luckily, saw only very brief action. It fired 300 shells on Sevastopol (at a rate of about 14 shells a day) and 30 more during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 before being captured by Allied troops and chopped up for scrap. Its 7 million Deutsch Mark sister, the Dora, was destroyed by the Germans themselves to keep it from falling into the hands of the Russians. The rest of the Nazis' evil War Machine would fall by 1945 after Allied forces finished curb stomping them back across the Rheinland.

Where Have the War Protesters Gone?

Salon published a fascinating article on what happened to the anti-war movement.

The movement's drawing power was limited from the start, and then, once the war was on in earnest, it felt -- realistically -- that it had run smack against the brick wall of George Bush's manic pigheadedness. Demonstrators are unlikely to invest their energies in what look from the start like very lost causes. And the demonstrations also tailed off because the mainstream media didn't pay attention -- refused to pay attention. The story line they were promoting was: America kicks ass, new era begins!
I thought that made pretty good sense.  In fact, I'd say one word, "apathy" says it all.  But the author took the article in another direction.
But also, in the new century, once war was on in earnest, the demonstrations dwindled because many former or potential demonstrators gravely doubted how nice the outcome would be if the expeditionary forces left -- or at least, lacking a tragic sense, downplayed the human costs of withdrawal.
From there he goes on with some type of apology for the current wars, comparing them to Viet Nam. Back in the late 60s and early 70s, "getting out" it was the right thing to do, but not today.

What's your opinion? Do you think even anti-war folks feel that our getting out of such places as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya might be wrong?

I don't think that and I don't think anti-war activists think that. For me personally, the awful realization came gradually during Obama's 2nd year in office. We are powerless to change what "the owners," as George Carlin called them, want. From there apathy and cynicism set in, which unfortunately, would take the steam out of any movement.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Another NRA Martyr

The father of a Cooperstown teen who has admitted trying to kill a classmate last year because he was black has been accused of recently stalking the 17-year-old victim, authorities said Monday.

Anthony Pacherille Sr., 44, however, believes that the fourth-degree stalking and first-degree harassment misdemeanor charges he now faces are the Otsego County district attorney’s way of getting revenge for disparaging remarks Pacherille Sr. has made publicly.
These latest charges come just days before Pacherille Sr.’s son, Anthony Pacherille Jr., 17, is due to be sentenced in Otsego County Court Friday morning to 11 years in prison after previously pleading guilty to attempted second-degree murder.
During his plea April 29, Pacherille Jr. admitted that he chased Wesley Lippitt into the Cooperstown police station, where he shot Lippitt once in the arm before then turning the gun on himself in a failed suicide attempt on April 2, 2010.
After that proceeding, Pacherille Sr. furiously expressed his belief that his mentally ill son had been “railroaded” by the judicial system, that Lippitt’s family had vengefully sought their “pound of flesh,” and that District Attorney John Muehl would have “blood on his hands” if anything happened to his son in prison.

For Laci and Microdot and the other Art Lovers among Us, with an Interest in Firearm Violence

This post amused me tremendously.  I hope the other readers on MikeB's blog appreciate it as well.  Not the kind of intellectual art criticism with which I was brought up, but ...oh, does have a certain directness and interactive quality with the art work, I'll give it that.  For those not familiar, MIA is the Minnesota Institute of Art.

From Eyeteeth, A Journal of Incisive Ideas:

Gun-shot Avedon still at home in a Minneapolis German restaurant

A Minneapolis German restaurant is home to a work by famed photographer Richard Avedon, but the tale of the work's current state -- peppered with a few bullet holes -- makes it an even better story (via @artsmia).

Minneapolis Institute of Arts associate curator of photography Christian Peterson blogs about Avedon's 1963 work Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In town for a 1970 MIA show of his work, Avedon frequented the Black Forest Inn a few blocks away and befriended its owners, Erich and Joanne Christ. Before leaving town, he gifted the first print of the photo to his new friend, and it still hangs in the restaurant's bar today. But it now bears two signs of age: Many years later, a customer pulled out a gun and shot it.

Writer Christy DeSmith chronicled the event in a 2004 piece for The Rake:
Sixteen years later, Ellis Nelson, a regular at the bar, was sitting on his favorite stool when he pulled out a revolver and opened fire on the photograph. “That was a wild day,” remembers Erich, who was walking his wife and infant son through the parking lot when the shooting occurred. “People came running out of every hole in the place shouting ‘He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!’ and I said to myself, ‘Ellis, this time you really did it.’” When police later questioned the shooter, trying to uncover a motive, Nelson was reported to have answered, “That photo always bugged the hell out of me.”
"[S]ince you could smoke in the bar until fairly recently, those holes are now rimmed in a distinctive nicotine brown," writes Peterson.

The Black Forest nicely chronicles its art on its website, but only nods to the photo's history by calling it "infamous." The restaurant's online image of the work, however, shows evidence of the two shots -- a chest wound and an eye shot -- that make two of the Daughters of the American Revolution look more like soldiers in the American Revolution.

About a Girl

An Armed Society is a Polite Society™:
Authorities pronounced one man dead at the scene. The other man was taken to an area hospital where he, too, was pronounced dead.
The shooting seems to have stemmed from an ongoing feud between the two roommates, possibly over a woman, Crump said. The men had been at a party until early Monday morning before the shooting occurred.

Investigators said they are not looking for any suspects, because they believe this was a murder-suicide.

™ courtesy Glenn "InstaCracker" Reynolds.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Gun Violent Criminal Isn't Happy in Jail? All together now......Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, too damn bad.

Now THIS works for me as an appropriate occasion to apply the Castle Doctrine

Well done, Congressman!

You Know You're a Gun Nut When

I don't know if I agree with that, but it's a cute idea.

via My Tumultuous Adventures which I discovered through our old friend Mike W.

Guns in Arizona

The Arizona Republic published one of the most biased articles you're likely to find. Of course they pretend to be presenting a balanced description of both sides of the argument. No one was fooled.

Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA with expertise on gun-related issues, points to a 2005 paper in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that could not discern any significant impact on violence from eight types of gun-control laws.

"We don't have any reliable studies on the subject," he said. "It does seem pretty clear that the possible impact of any (gun-related) laws is going to be modest in either direction."
Now, as if that whopper from Volokh isn't enough, they go on to cite John Lott.

What's your opinion? Is it fair to say that there's been so much research on the subject of guns that both sides can support their argument and then quote Eugene saying "the possible impact of any (gun-related) laws is going to be modest in either direction?"

It sounds like biased double-talk to me. What do you think?

Please leave a comment.

Arizona Senator Lori Klein - Proud Gun Owner

Tip sent in by Bruce

The dispute was this: Did a local lawmaker intentionally point her loaded .380 Ruger at a newspaper reporter during an interview, or was it all just a silly misunderstanding?

The reporter, Richard Ruelas, who writes for The Arizona Republic, said it was deliberate. Not hostile, mind you, but purposeful: State Senator Lori Klein was proudly showing off her piece. He told this story first in an article published Sunday in The Republic, repeated it in subsequent public comments and went through it one more time on the telephone with me. He sounded incredulous still.

He said that as he sat with Klein just outside the Senate chamber to discuss her gun-toting ways, “I looked down and saw a red dot on my chest.” He looked up and realized the dot was the laser sight of the Ruger, which she carries in her pocketbook. Although he wasn’t sure just then whether it had bullets in it, she informed him — after she’d lowered the pistol — that it always does.

The Republic article caused a public outcry that she had been reckless. Even Arizonans have their limits. She then disputed Ruelas’s account, saying that he had strayed into the gun’s sight as she demonstrated how it worked. After that she went silent.
The author goes on to bemoan the fact that "a cavalier attitude about guns persists and even flourishes" in spite of the recent high profile shooting in Arizona. He states that the Senator's pink gun is not cute and cannot be compared to Häagen-Dazs ice cream. But what in the world does Lori Klein and all the other lawful gun owners have to do with the criminal use of guns? Aren't they two completely separate things? That's what our gun-rights friends keep trying to say.

In my opinion they're all part of the same problem. There's much more in common between criminal gun owners and lawful gun owners than there is between either of them and the gun control folks. Let me explain.

All the guns that are used in crime start out legally owned by someone. In the case of Jared Loughner, he himself was the legitimate and legal owner of the gun, as sad a fact as that is, given the terrible and tragic lack of mental health screening that exists. He bought the gun, and then used it in a crime.

But, the same is true for the inner city hoodlum who shoots a rival drug dealer in Newark. He may have bought the gun from another criminal, in fact his particular gun may have had several illegal owners before it was used in a murder. But if you could trace it back far enough, you would find a point at which it passed from the hand of its legitimate owner to that of a criminal.

This is why we need strong gun control laws at the national level AIMED AT THE LAW ABIDING. No one disputes the fact that criminals won't obey our silly laws. That's exactly the reason, along with the fact that the legitimate gun owners of America seem to have such a hard time holding on to their guns, that we need proper gun control laws.

Of course, if I were writing those laws, Lori Klein would have to relinquish her guns immediately.

How does that sound? Please leave a comment.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Florida Woman Kills ex-Husband

Detectives searching Pier Point subdivision in Northwest Bradenton on Friday morning found the handgun they say is the weapon used in a bizarre slaying that has stunned one of Bradenton’s most quiet and exclusive neighborhoods.

Also known as 86th Street Court Northwest, Pier Point is where 10 large and luxurious homes rise among old oaks and mango trees.

But it is also the place where a divorced couple, Robin Claire Crane, 49, and her ex-husband, Ernie Crane, 56, apparently shared a rental home and had a domestic dispute that, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, led to Robin Crane fatally shooting Ernie Crane at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
They called this shooting "bizarre" because the police "had issued the couple domestic violence packets, which they had both signed and which deputies dispense dozens of times a day in the waning moments of domestic disputes."

The only problem was in this case the dispute was not in its "waning moments."

Now, I'm usually on the side of the woman in domestic violence situations. I realize that men are almost always the abusers in these cases and even in the rare situations in which the woman turns the tables on her abuser and kills him, it could often be considered self-defense.

Nevertheless, when a woman decides to pick up a gun and shoot her abusing ex-husband or boyfriend, I'm afraid I have to blame her for pulling the trigger.

Unless her life was in imminent danger that very moment, I don't accept the cumulative effect of domestic abuse as an excuse. She needs to find another way to resolve the problem other than killing him.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Atlanta Security Guard Kills One Wounds Two

CNN reports

Police arrested a 22-year-old security guard and charged him Friday with murder and aggravated assault in a triple shooting in a garage in Atlanta's Midtown neighborhood.

Nkosi Thandiwe surrendered to police Friday afternoon and was charged with one count of murder and two counts of aggravated assault related to the shooting death of a woman and the wounding of two other people earlier in the day, said Carlos Campos, a spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department.

The first shooting occurred on the third floor of the parking deck, where Thandiwe was waiting for the woman he killed, Campos said. The suspect was inside the victim's Toyota Prius when he shot the woman, who also worked in the Proscenium Building, Campos said.
There's no doubt this guy was a legitimate gun owner. He probably had all the training and mental-health screening as any other gun owner in Georgia, maybe more. Is it so difficult to agree that the screening and training required is inadequate?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Dearborn Conflict Resolution

The Detroit Free Press reports on how some people resolve conflict.
Fadi Hassan Faraj, 34, was charged Friday with first-degree murder in the death of a 23-year-old man outside Riverside Academy on Wednesday night. Both men are from Dearborn. Police said Faraj and Hassan Mustapha Zeidan were playing basketball when they got into an argument that escalated into a fight. Witnesses said Faraj then got a handgun and shot Zeidan multiple times.
Of course the gun apologists will point out that these guys were probably terrorists anyway arguing over some gang or norcotics business of their own. I figured they were legitimate civilian gun owners with the same qualifications and temperment as many others.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Shoots Puppy, Kills Husband?

Because you couldn't make this stuff up.
From aol news / Huffington Post:
Betty Walker Shoots At Puppy, Instead Kills Husband, Robert Walker In Mississippi: Police
Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. -- Police in Mississippi say a woman opened fire on a puppy that had threatened children, but wound up shooting and killing her husband.
Witnesses tell police that the pit bull named "Cocaine" had lunged at some children and tried to attack them on Friday. The dead man's son says the children were taken inside and his father picked the dog up.
It was then that police say Betty Walker fired twice, hitting the dog once and her husband once in the chest. Jackson police spokeswoman Colendula Green says the death of 53-year-old Robert Walker appears to have been accidental.
She says a Hinds County grand jury will decide whether to charge Betty Walker.
Animal control officers have taken the dog, and its owner could face charges.