Saturday, March 10, 2012

Teaching Gun Safety to Kids

my comment:

I find this issue one of the greatest and most fascinating dilemmas I face. My boy is 8 now, and as I shared here some months ago, has had very little exposure go guns of any kind except the time I let him shoot the air-soft gun at a local carnival.

I tried to use it as an opportunity to teach him some basic safety rules, and I’m happy to report he hasn’t yet turned into a rabid killer or a fanatic gun nut. But, aside from the joke about rabid killer, that is exactly the dilemma, as I see it. I’m not convinced this kind of exposure for young kids diminishes the curiosity. Yet, I can’t bring myself to believe total prevention of all exposure is better. 

This summer we’ll be visiting my family in the States. My nephews in Las Vegas, both in their 20s now, are serious gun enthusiasts. My brother says they’re extremely safety conscious. I’m considering taking my kids shooting in the desert with them, partly as an experiment. It would be an opportunity to put some of my theories to the test, to see for myself how kids react to guns upon first exposure as well as to observe my nephews in action, all under my supervision.

The GOP Competition

click to enlarge image

via Jobsanger
from Yellowdog Granny

The Pittsburgh Clinic Shooting

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

A gunman opened fire inside a psychiatric clinic in Pittsburgh on Thursday in a shooting that left two people dead, including the gunman, and seven others injured, authorities said.
Oregon Live has the story on the shooter.

John F. Shick, 30, was identified by police as the man who fired several shots as he walked into the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. A therapist, Michael Schaab, 25, was killed and seven others were wounded. Police officers responding to the scene traded gunfire with Shick, killing him.
Shick, a 2004 Columbia University graduate with an engineering degree according to the local alumni association, lived in Portland from about September 2008 until August 2011, public records show. He lived in apartments in Southwest Portland, near Jeld-Wen Field and in Old Town.
While living in Portland, he officially changed "his name to William Huhnpere Schols Kan, according to electronics Oregon court records." Later he changed it back to John Fredenick Shick. Once he was arrested as a "male exhibiting strange behavior."

Do you think it's a good sign of freedom and liberty that a man like this can easily get a gun? As counter-intuitive as it sounds, wouldn't it better serve freedom if gun ownership were restricted to those fit and qualified?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

More on Guns on Campus

 from an op-ed in The East Valley Tribune

How can students learn or professors teach at their highest level with the anxiety of being surrounded by armed, unpredictable people every day in class? And even if they have their gun (that the NRA wanted them to have) on them, would they have confidence in their ability to use it in self defense? This bill will be the beginning of some major problems rather than creating a supposed safer environment — problems that could be catastrophic.
The pro-gun bullies love to call that type of appeal "predicting blood in the streets." This devalues it with ridicule, and of course leaves everyone to determine their own definition of what constitutes "blood in the streets." Many feel we already have that.

The salient idea for me in this appeal is the damage which would result in introducing the possibility of guns into the teacher / student relationship. This will take a serious toll on the already struggling education system in the US, even if no shots are ever fired.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Anonymous Shell Casings

From my friend Geraldine Rodriguez via New Yorkers Against Gun Violence

The Left and Right Agree - Even Pat Robertson

But, is it true that Liberals are responsible for the laws which lock up non-violent offenders?

Other than that, I like everything they say in this video, especially, "prisons are for people we're afraid of not for people we're mad at."

Indiana Man Forgets About the One in the Chamber

34-year-old James Phillips, of Municie, Indiana, was in his bedroom cleaning his 9mm handgun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon. According to reports the gun "slipped out of his hand" and when he went to grab it he "accidentally pulled the trigger back and the gun discharged in his hand."

The bullet hit Phillips' hand and then went through the wall and hit his teenage son in the neck. They were taken to the hospital for treatment. Their conditions have not been released.

Police caution that Phillips took the magazine out of the handgun before cleaning the gun but failed to check to see if there was a round in the chamber.
Is there any reason why a guy like this should not lose his gun rights?

This wasn't what the Founders meant when they were talking about militia.

To reiterate, for one to be a constitutionally sanctioned militia, one needs to belong to an organised under Article I, Section 8, Clause 16:
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Also, any military orgnisation must be "in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. "

With that, I bring you the latest viral video:

Now, let the idiotic comments begin!

FInd out more at Invisible Children.

Who Are These Guys?

via Brent Stirton

Tulsa County Courthouse Shooting - Several Wounded

This is another example of a bad guy acting badly. No question about it, the tool he used is incidental to the fact that he was an unbalanced and dangerous man. However, what the gun-rights folks like to ignore is that by using a gun, he was able to do much more damage than he otherwise would have.

Gun availability is the contributing factor which can be most easily controlled. But the NRA, gun manufacturers, and the individual gun-rights advocates don't want that. Each for their own reasons, they resist the simple controls which would disarm many of the unfit and dangerous people who nowadays have easy access to guns.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Arizona on a Death Penalty Roll

Robert Charles Towery, 47, convicted of killing Mark Jones while robbing his Scottsdale home in 1991, was the second inmate put to death in the state in eight days.

On September 4, 1991, Towery and Randy Barker went to the home of Mark Jones to rob him.

Jones knew Towery and let Towery and Barker into the home. Towery pulled a pistol on Jones and Barker handcuffed him. Towery took valuables from the house and loaded them into Jones's vehicle.

Barker took Jones to the bedroom. Towery told Jones that he was going to give him injections with something that would make him sleep. Towery then injected Jones with battery acid. Jones was not struggling because he trusted Towery. Towery then sought to strangle Jones to death. When the first try failed, he tried again and succeeded.

Towery and Barker then left in Jones's car, unloaded Jones's property at their home, and left the car in a nearby parking lot.

On September 5, 1991, Jones's body was discovered. On September 12, 1993, Jones's car was recovered.

As a result of tip given to the silent witness program, Towery and Barker were later arrested. Some of Jones's property was recovered from Towery's and Barker's home.
It's interesting that the accomplice spent less than 10 years in jail. It seems like a good argument for leniency, but in Arizona, and many other places, they prefer to eliminate bad boys like this.

What's your opinion? Wouldn't a lifetime in the slammer be a better solution?

Please leave a comment.

Stiffer Penalties for Straw Purchasing Proposed

A Democratic Congressman has introduced legislation that would impose tough new penalties on people who lie when they buy guns.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Ca.) says the bill, the Straw Purchaser Penalty Enhancement Act, would give federal agents new tools to crack down on the flow of weapons across the Southwest border into Mexico.

Nowadays, many episodes where people lie about the true identity of the purchaser of guns, or engage in straw purchases, never get prosecuted at all, Schiff says in an interview with NPR.

"The penalties are so insufficient that prosecutors don't want to bring the cases and more than that you can't get sufficient cooperation when you indict them to roll them up and use their testimony against higher ups in the gun smuggling organization," he says.
This is absolutely useless without also requiring registration of guns. How else are the feds going to know if a straw buyer turns over the purchase to someone else?

A combination of licensing, registration AND stiffer penalties for straw purchasing would make a huge difference. But, unfortunately it's like the illegal drug business. There are ways to stop it, put the powerful interests, some who claim to want it stopped, oppose the very regulations that would do so. Same with the gun business. The NRA wants the fewest restrictions possible for their members and the gun manufacturers want to sell as much as possible. These people,as well as the individual gun-rights gun owner, are unscrupulous and self-centered. They don't care what's best for anyone but themselves, and even in that they're often mistaken.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Mexico Gun Rights Advance

Yesterday, Governor Susana Martinez signed Senate Bill 26 into law. This NRA-supported legislation, sponsored by state Senator Bill Payne (R-ABQ) and state Representative Bill Rehm (R-ABQ), repeals Section 30-7-9 of the New Mexico Criminal Code. This code section limited the purchase of rifles and shotguns by New Mexico residents to their home state and contiguous states. Repeal of this law eliminates this restrictive language and will enable law-abiding New Mexicans to purchase long guns in any state, including non-contiguous states, and residents of any state, including non-contiguous states, to purchase long guns in New Mexico. This Act takes effect on July 1.

Is this anything more than a minor victory for the gun-rights folks? Or will this seriously increase the misuse and wrongdoing that's already going on?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Jon Stewart Calls for Peace

This is why I think one can get all the news from Jon Stewart and why I think Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate worth voting for.

Washington Ceasefire Ad Campaign

The group’s Know the Facts campaign uses data from a leading book in the gun debate -- “Private Guns, Public Health,” by David Hemenway of the Harvard School of Public Health -- to make the case that a gun in the home generally does more harm than good.

There are estimated to be about 6.5 million guns in Washington State alone -- about one per resident -- and approximately 40% of homes in this state have guns. Many homeowners acquire guns for what they see as a means of protection against intruders, though the facts show that the risks of home gun ownership far outweigh the benefits. One of the Know the Facts ads educates the public that when there is a gun in the home, there is a 22x greater chance of killing a family member or a friend than an intruder.

In one of the largest studies on the topic covering three cities -- Galveston, Memphis and Seattle -- there were only 13 legally justified acts of self-defense out of a total of 626 fatal and non-fatal shootings in residences. The survey was taken in 1994, and several subsequent studies validate the findings. According to ‘Private Guns, Public Health,” there has never been a study demonstrating that a gun in the home can meaningfully deter or thwart burglaries or home invasion.
A spokesman for the organization said they aren't pushing for a change in legislation which would disallow guns in homes, they're trying to educate the public which often suffers from the misconception that a gun in the home makes them safer.

Where do you think that misconception comes from? Cui bono, baby?

Another very interesting statistic was presented in the article.

There are almost 600 gun deaths annually in Washington state – a death toll higher than that from motor vehicle accidents --  including some 350 suicides. Indeed, a majority of completed suicides are via a firearm.
I suppose in low gun states like New Jersey and New York, car accidents take a bigger toll. But Washington State must be typical of the high-gun states.

It all comes back to the simple fact that guns cause more harm than good.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Important Message from Josh Horwitz

Yesterday, I published a new blog at the Huffington Post that looks at a disturbing new trend in American politics: the fact that it is now easier to buy a gun in many states than it is to vote.

With legislatures across the country moving to implement "Voter ID" laws, Americans in more than 30 states now have to present some form of identification before voting. And yet, in virtually all those states, residents can buy firearms through private sales, where they are not required by law to show any ID or undergo a background check.

Meanwhile, emboldened by these developments, some pro-gun activists are beginning to "Open Carry" their guns to political gatherings once again. This includes a young man in Michigan who recently brought a loaded handgun into an elementary school to vote in the GOP presidential primary.

What type of message are these pro-gunners trying to send? What guidance does our Constitution provide on these important issues? And most importantly, what does it say about America " When Buying a Gun Becomes Easier Than Voting"?

Read my new blog to find out.
Josh Horwitz
Executive Director

Warrant Issued for Mom in Wash. School Shooting

Saying that she left firearms unsecured around her house, authorities issued an arrest warrant Monday for the mother of the 9-year-old Washington boy who is accused of bringing to school a gun that accidentally fired — seriously wounding a third-grade classmate.
The mom and boyfriend were prohibited people who had guns anyway and kept them very accessible. They should be charged, but so should all those lawful gun owners who do the same thing.

Safe storage laws would prevent many of these sad stories.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Sister helen Prejean - Champion of the Anti-Death Penalty Movement

Sister Helen Prejean filled up Hartwell's dance ballroom with her stories about her experiences with prisoners facing the death penalty. Many attendees resorted to sitting on the stairs and floor to hear her speak Wednesday, Feb. 29.

Prejean, a nun from Baton Rouge, La., has worked closely with the death penalty over the past two decades, counseling and walking murderers on death row in their final moments. She became involved in thiswhen she moved to the St. Thomas projects and was asked to be a pen pal to an inmate on death row. Prejean explained she agreed because she thought simply writing would be easy enough. Yet she never expected to get so involved.
Sister Helen sees death row inmates as human beings. It's harder to justify killing them that way. What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Stephen Colbert on the Rush Limbaugh Silliness

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gun Ownership is Declining

There is no question that Americans own more guns, and use them more often to kill each other, than citizens of any other advanced Western democracy. As of 2007, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms reported that there were approximately 294 million guns in the United States, nearly one for every man, woman, and child in the country: 106 million handguns, 105 million rifles, and 83 million shotguns (these figures are discussed here). Though crime rates in general have been on a steady decline since the mid-1990s, according to the CDC more than 10,000 Americans are still murdered every year with firearms; add in suicides and accidental deaths, and the number exceeds 30,000.

Nevertheless, these statistics obscure a trend that has gone largely unnoticed: fewer and fewer Americans own guns. Data from the General Social Survey show that rates of gun ownership have been decreasing steadily for three decades. In 1977, 54 percent of American adults lived in a household that contained a gun. By 2010, that figure had declined a full 22 percentage points to 32 percent.

The explanations for this drop vary; a declining interest in hunting and the steady exodus from rural areas to suburbs and cities almost certainly play a role. Whatever the combination of causes, there have been steady declines in gun ownership among all age groups. Of particular note is the decline among young adults. In the GSS studies in the 1970s, around 45 percent of respondents under 30 years of age reported that their household owned a gun; in the most recent surveys that number has fallen below 20 percent, a decline of more than half. The decline has also occurred among all birth cohorts.

Barring a wholesale return to rural living or a boom in hunting, it seems unlikely that this trend will reverse. Demographic diversity will also likely contribute to a continued decline in gun ownership. White males own guns at higher rates than members of other groups, while gun ownership among African-Americans is lower, and ownership among Latinos and Asians is lower still. Every projection by demographers shows whites declining as a proportion of the American population in the next few decades, and Latinos are now the country’s largest and fastest-growing minority group. These factors will likely produce a continued, if not accelerated, decline in gun ownership.

Dennis Henigan on the Ohio Shooting

Let's face it. Chardon happened not because an Ohio teenager was so troubled that he became violent. Chardon happened because a troubled, violent Ohio teenager was able to get access to a gun.

Remove the gun from the equation and there may have been a violent incident involving T.J. Lane. But it is doubtful that three young people would have died and two been seriously injured. The nature and scope of the Chardon tragedy was determined by the nature and lethality of the weapon.
Gun availability, that's the problem.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Alaska FFL Guy and Hidden Criminal Goes to The Supreme Court

Jonathan Lowy with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., who is co-counsel with Mark Choate on behalf of the family of the murdered Simone Young Kim, argued that Coxe sells guns off the books then later claims that they are missing. Lowy said a previous audit of Rayco Sales found 200 guns missing from the inventory.

“To put that in context, 90 percent of gun dealers have zero guns missing from inventory,” Lowy said. “ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), they looked at the worst of the worst as far as gun dealers in this country. Out of 800,000 gun dealers, they found 16 in the entire nation who had that sort of total.”
First of all, we have to point out the transparent and blatant spin job in the above paragraph.  If 90% of gun dealers have zero guns missing, then 10% have some guns missing. That makes 80,000 total gun dealers who have guns missing.

The 16 who "had that sort of total," must mean only 16 FFL guys had 200 or more guns missing. That figure stretches credibility, but to say "out of 800,000 gun dealers, they found 16"  is a double spin.  The 16 figure has to be increased to include all those with guns missing even if they were fewer than 200, and the 800,000 figure should be replaced by the total number of inspections.

This would probably bring us back to the 10% figure which is TOO MUCH.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

A Small and Temporary Gun-Rights Victory in Maryland

A federal judge has ruled that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is not limited to the home and Maryland’s handgun permit law is unconstitutional.

In an opinion filed Monday, U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg says a requirement that residents show a “good and substantial reason” to carry a handgun infringes on people’s rights.

Plaintiff Raymond Woollard obtained a handgun permit after fighting with an intruder in his home in 2002, but his renewal was denied in 2009 because he could not show he was subject to “threats occurring beyond his residence.”

The Second Amendment Foundation, which brought the suit on Woollard’s behalf, calls the ruling a major victory. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says it goes out of the norm and will likely be reversed.
What do you think? Is the judge stretching the reasonable meaning of "infringes on people's rights," when he applies it to this? Didn't the Supreme Court rule that the 2nd Amendment right applies to the home?

Please leave a comment.

Jon Stewart - Greatest Public Intellectual

Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD, writes that Stewart "has emerged as our voice of sanity in a sea of insanity in a new media age with its ephemeral nature and lack of substance." Parsi is an associate professor in the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Parsi explains that a public intellectual is seriously committed to ideas and discourse. He or she may be an academic, although journalists, policymakers and even politicians can play the role.
He's certainly more than a comdeian. What do you think?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Denial Of The Right To Bear Arms Is A Denial Of Our Humanity

via Ammoland where they really know how to embarrass themselves.

An equally valid way to look at this is to notice that the tyrant who stands between men and the rights with which they are endowed actually stands between them and their humanity: for what are those rights except an expression of their humanity?


About the author:

AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

"all the BIG sites."


What's your opinion? Are these guys funny or what?

Ann Coulter vs. Al Franken

The Propaganda Professor:

I’ll admit it: I actually read, once upon a time, Ann Coulter’s book Slander; Liberal Lies About the American Right. I had to swab my brain with Clorox afterward, but I did it. I had my reasons. And while Ann herself is no more worth discussing than any of the other vast horde of vitriolic pundits who have discovered that there are tremendous profits to be made in attacking “liberals”, this particular volume offers some fascinating  illumination of that pursuit, and of certain propaganda tactics in general.

You have to read no farther than the title to get an indication of Coulter’s degree of accuracy. Slander is a legal term for oral defamation; but if that defamation is published or otherwise issued in a transfixed form (including video and audio recordings), then the correct term is libel, and that’s what she supposedly is documenting in the great majority of cases cited in the book.  She should know better, since she’s reputedly a lawyer (if she ever represented me in court, I’d plead insanity pronto); and using the accurate word would have produced such a cute alliterative title to boot. Alas, while her inaccuracies and untruths begin with the title, they sure as hell don’t end there.
I find it unbelievable that people of the right can't step back just enough to see how hateful Ann Coulter is. Maybe they do, but she seems to have a strong following. I would think just a modicum of intelligence is all it would take to see through her act.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

The Rifleman Fantasy World

I always get a kick out of the re-enactment guys, and I enjoy the true gun nuts, but this one is a combination of both. This is the very definition of a fetish object, or perhaps it's better to say, a magic talisman.

"It was the symbol of righteousness, justice, power and wisdom. It was always used in the right way, never in the wrong way."
If you're old enough, you may have grown up watching this show and a number of others like it which inspired childish fantasies. Then, if you're normal, you grew out of them.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

14 People Shot at Arizona Concert

ABC reports

Hundreds of concert-goers waiting outside an Arizona nightclub for a hip-hop show fled in panic as shooting erupted involving three gunmen, leaving at least 14 people wounded. Police arrested one suspect and were hunting two others.

"People were running in all different directions, and some people were trying to force their way into the bar to get away," police spokesman Lt. Mike Horn said. "It was incredibly chaotic, and understandably so. Again, we're just fortunate that no one was killed."
What's your opinion? Is the fact that Arizona is one of the easiest places to get guns a part of this? Do these things happen more often in places like Arizona?

My belief is the gun-rights folks in Arizona and in the nation can take some responsibility for this. If it weren't for their success in keeping gun laws as ineffectual as they are, many of these incidents would not happen.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Senator Russ Feingold on The Patriot Act

via Fuck Conservatives

Colbert Interviews Shatner

via Rack Jite we have this wonderfully enjoyable video. 

Vigilante Justice for a Flag Burner

via Mr. G. Guy's Blog where they love this kind of thing.

The self-appointed protectors of the flag should be in jail for what they did to the flag-burner. Burning the flag itself is not a crime, if I remember correctly, but the guy may have done other things wrong. Perhaps the flag was on private property, or whatever. But what was done in retaliation was seriously criminal.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Illinois Gun Laws Advance

Two controversial gun control proposals advanced to the full House Wednesday.

On a partisan vote, the Democratic-controlled House Executive Committee approved a measure requiring handgun owners to register their weapons with the state.

The panel also signed off on legislation that would create a special 2 percent tax on ammunition, which would finance trauma facilities that treat gunshot victims.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Another Colin Goddard Interview on the Ohio Shooting

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The GOP Candidates on Gun Rights

All Voices lays it out for voters - Santorum is your man.

Rick Santorum

Santorum has the distinction of having a lifetime A+ rating with the NRA.

Newt Gingrich

Gingrich believes that the Supreme Court has become a permanent constitutional convention in which the whims of five appointed lawyers have rewritten the meaning of the Constitution. And furthermore, anyone who thinks various Supreme Court decisions are not adequately worrisome need only look at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to see how domination by secular Left-liberal judges will change America. He views the court decisions to be “out of step with the views of the vast majority of the American people.”

Let’s take a look at what the “vast majority of Americans” think. The facts do not support Gingrich’s statements. After the assault and mass shootings in Tucson, Arizona last year, Americans remain split on the issue of gun control with the scale tipping to more controls, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

Mitt Romney

Romney’s views are murky, and appear to have changed. In February he said, “find common ground with pro-gun and anti-gun groups. In the past he signed the nation’s first ban on assault weapons in Massachusetts as governor and increased gun owners fees by 400%. How does he propose to reconcile this with groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) the most powerful gun lobby in the U.S.?