Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cenk on the NRA and the Gun Manufacturers

Even David Berkowitz Knows This

via The Huffington Post 
David Berkowitz says "society has to take the glory out of guns."

The "Son of Sam" killer spoke to the Daily News from the maximum security Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, N.Y.

He's serving 25 years to life for killing six people during a 13-month shooting spree in the 1970s.
He lamented the latest fatal shootings in Colorado, Wisconsin and on New York City streets, including that of a 4-year-old boy in the Bronx.

Berkowitz said "young people are losing direction and don't value life."

He said gun control was for legislators to work out. His hope is for young people to realize "just how terrible this violence is."

Said Berkowitz: "When they use a gun ... they ruin their lives too."

Who is Paul Davis Ryan?

Republican Congressman Paul Davis Ryan has represented Wisconsin's first House district since 1999, and in his sixth term he began to emerge as the new face of the Republican Party. Despite the heavily Democratic demographic of his home district, Ryan ran as a conservative in 1998 and won, beating the Democratic favorite by 15 percentage points. Before running for Congress, Ryan worked for several conservatives, including Sen. Sam Brownback and former housing secretary Jack Kemp. In 2009, Ryan offered conservative alternatives to both the 2010 Democratic Budget and Obama's health care reform plan.

 Ryan on Five Major Issues:

  1. Abortion: Has a 100 percent voting record with the National Right to Life Committee. Voted against allowing embryonic stem cell research. Voted against the transportation of minors across state lines for abortions. Voted against partial birth abortions except to save a mother's life.
  2. Immigration: Voted in favor of building a fence along the Mexican border. Voted in favor of extending Immigrant Residency rules. Voted in favor of comprehensive immigration reform without amnesty.
  3. Civil Rights: Voted in favor of prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. Voted to protect the pledge of allegiance. Has expressed support for an amendment to ban flag desecration.
  4. Families: Voted to ban gay adoptions in Washington. Voted to constitutionally define marriage as between one man and one woman. Voted to reduce the Marriage Tax by $399 billion over 10 years. Voted to establish a nationwide AMBER alert system for missing children.
  5. Gun Control: Has an "A" rating by the National Rifle Association. In 1999, he voted to decrease gun waiting periods from three days to one. Voted to prevent gun makers, gun manufacturers and gun sellers from being sued for gun misuse.

Who Should Have Their Guns Removed?

Local news reports

Sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Stallbaumer said a man was removing an item from underneath a bed when a loaded shotgun that also was beneath the bed accidentally discharged.

Stallbaumer said the gun’s trigger guard, which wasn’t installed properly, “caught on something,” causing the shotgun to fire.

The man’s fingers were severely injured when struck by shotgun pellets that went through a case that was housing the firearm.
Over on TTAG, they didn't like my suggestion that about half of the legitimate gun owners are unfit. Naturally, they take something like that personally, or half of them do anyway.

My Official Goal is not so much a statement of my wanting to take guns away from folks as it is that I'd like to raise the bar as to who qualifies to own them.

The one strike you're out rule would take care of it.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Survey Questions - General and Specific

via Media Matters

Today's survey asked both the general question of whether voters in the swing states of Colorado, Wisconsin, and Virginia want gun laws to be more strict, less strict, or kept the same; AND the specific question of whether those voters support a ban on high-capacity magazines, which have been used in several recent mass shootings.

The results show that while Americans may not support stricter gun laws in theory, they do support them in practice, with significantly higher percentages of respondents supporting an actual stricter gun law (the hi-cap magazine ban) than supporting "more strict" laws in general:
  • 38 percent of likely Colorado voters say they want stricter gun laws, but 58 percent support a ban on high-capacity magazines, a 20-point gap.
  • 44 percent of likely Virginia voters say they want stricter gun laws, but 52 percent support the ban, and 8-point gap.
  • 43 percent of likely Wisconsin voters say they want stricter gun laws, but 57 percent support the ban, a 14-point gap.

Misty Cook, Wade's Girlfriend Arrested

Misty Cook is blonde, rosy cheeked and pretty, but the sweet-looking mother of one is also the ex-girlfriend of Wade Michael Page, the gunman who brutally killed six Sikh worshipers in Milwaukee temple on Sunday.  Although police say Cook is not a suspect in the shootings, they were worried enough about her connections to Page this weekend that they went to the restaurant where she worked and, after searching her apartment, arrested her on a charge of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.

In addition to Misty Cook’s felony rap sheet, she is also one of thousands of women in the United States who are a part of or support white supremacist organizations, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Misty supported Skinhead groups, including the white power groups that Wade Page followed and the ex-couple had in common.   One of those groups, the Hammerskins, pledges to live by the 14 words:  “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children.”

It’s easy to assume that only men like Page are a part of a dark and secretive culture that espouses violence and hate against minorities in our country and sometimes even acts on it.  But the ADL estimates that between 30 percent and 40 percent of the roughly 100,000 people who support white supremacist group are women.
Maybe this guy was right after all. What do you think?

Captain Beefheart - Bat Chain Puller

A bat chain refers to the chain that hangs down from a signal post on a train line. The signal device that was pulled down was called a bat and different bats had different colours to signal the train driver as to the condition of the track ahead, or whether the train could proceed,etc.

The bat chain puller was the person who set the signals for the approaching train according to track status reports received by telegraph.

The song BCP probably metaphorically refers to the fact that this job is obsolete in the world of train spotters in this automated world.

Bat chain
Bat chain puller
Puller, puller

A chain with yellow lights
That glistens like oil beads
On its slick smooth trunk
That trails behind on tracks, and thumps
A wing hangs limp and retreats

Bat chain puller
Puller puller

Bulbs shoot from its snoot
And vanish into darkness
It whistles like a root snatched from dry earth
Sodbustin' rakes with grey dust claws
Announces its coming in the morning
This train with grey tubes
That houses people's very thoughts and belongings.

Bat chain puller
Puller puller

This train with grey tubes that houses people's thoughts,
Their very remains and belongings.
A grey cloth patch
Caught with four threads
In the hollow wind of its stacks
Ripples felt fades and grey sparks clacks,
Lunging the cushioned thickets.
Pumpkins span the hills
With orange crayola patches.
Green inflated trees
Balloon up into marshmallow soot
That walks away in forty circles,
Caught in grey blisters
With twinkling lights and green sashes
Pulled by rubber dolphins with gold yawning mouths
That blister and break in agony
In souls of rust
They kill gold sawdust into dust.

Bat chain puller,
Puller puller.

Accidental Shooting of Maryland 4-year-old - Stepdad Arrested

The Washington Post reports

The stepfather of a 4-year-old Woodbridge boy who found a loaded handgun and accidentally shot himself has been arrested on a child cruelty charge, Prince William County police said.

The boy, Kyrell Kyyon McNeill, climbed into a family member’s truck on July 25, found the loaded weapon and shot himself in the head. Jasmine Darnell Matthews, 27, Kyrell’s stepfather, has been charged with cruelty and injuries to children for leaving the loaded gun “in another family member’s unsecured vehicle,” according to a police statement.
Why is it that sometimes the gun owner is charged and other times he isn't? Can you see any obvious difference?

Please leave a comment.

Cenk Uygur on the Texas Execution

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Questionable Defensive Gun Use

Disdain for criminals with guns is such that we tend to be very lenient when judging the actions of a lawful gun owner who prevents an armed robbery.

For me, the first criterion has to be the determination of whether there is lethal threat. That's often a difficult call.  I don't subscribe to the overly simplistic view that all criminals with guns pose a lethal threat. But, even if you place the bar that low, once the armed criminals are fleeing, all gun play must cease. Once you've shot or shot at an armed robber and he's running away for his life, you cannot keep shooting.  You cannot pursue and continue shooting. That's criminal behavior.

In addition throughout the action, the defensive shooter must adhere strictly to the 4 Rules of Gun Safety.  You can't shoot at the bad guys in a crowded place while running and expect to comply with Rule Number 4, and that counts even if there is lethal threat.

What's your opinion?  Did the guy in the video seem like a safe and responsible gun owner?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Obama as Hitler

via The Huffington Post
Captured outside a U.S. Post Office in Ventura, Calif., these Obama-as-genocidal-dictator images, which LaRouchePAC has been propagating since at least 2009, are apparently still in use.

But, what would Wade think (WWWT), that's what I'd like to know.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment

Brightly Colored Guns

The City Council and the local police seem to agree. What do you think?

Accidental Shooting of Iowa Toddler - No Charges

The Des Moines Register reports

A 20-month-old child was shot in the leg after a gun in a nearby garage was unintentionally fired, police said. The child’s doctor told police the shooting, which occurred around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, appeared accidental and said he saw no signs of abuse.

According to police reports, someone had brought the gun over as collateral to borrow money from a family member that lived at the home in the 800 block of Granger Avenue. The home’s resident said he didn’t want the gun, but the visitor was showing him how the firearm worked in the garage when it went off, authorities said.

The bullet apparently penetrated two walls before striking the child, who was in the backyard, in the leg. The injuries weren’t life threatening, police said.

No charges have been filed.
That's a laugh. The doctor said there were no signs of abuse.

What's your opinion?

Is Open Carry Coming to Florida?

No one with any sense wants open carry except the fanatical gun-rights guys. It's their way of saying "fuck you" to everyone else.

What's your opinion?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Aurora, Colorado Shooter and Shall Issue Regulation

Cross posted from Penigma

It has now come to light that the college psychiatrist who had been treating the (alleged) shooter in the Aurora, Colorado theater showing the latest Batman movie had alerted law enforcement that James Holmes presented a danger to others weeks before the shooting.

Under 'may issue' practice, law enforcement can be more responsive to known dangers presented by the mentally ill acquiring firearms, and deny them permits.  Under 'may issue' regulation, denial of permits can be challenged, and law enforcement then has to demonstrate that they had a reasonable and justifiable basis for the denial.  There has not been a problem with may issue regulation abuse of authority in denying permits to individuals who are stalkers, domestic abusers, criminals, drug users, or who have known patterns of behavior that are violent as part of mental illness.  Under shall issue, law enforcement cannot prevent dangerous mentally ill individuals or other known violent individuals who have made threats to others from acquiring weapons.  Under 'shall issue' the requirement is a court proceeding, which is far less common and which can take a very long time to occur, and where the level of danger required for a decision is much more demanding and difficult to prove.
In the case of Jared Loughner for example, his college required him to withdraw, and not return unless he had obtained a psychiatric clearance that he was not a threat to himself or others.  Loughner withdrew rather than submit to a psychiatric examination.  Law enforcement had been made aware of the threat presented by Loughner, including sending not one, but two law enforcement officers to deliver the letter from the college to Loughner and his parents.  However, law enforcement could not prohibit Loughner from firearm ownership despite their knowledge of his presenting a danger to himself and others.

And of course, the NRA has made it a priority that the large capacity magazines favored by most mass shooters cannot be prohibited either.
Between January 8, 2011 when Jared Loughner shot and killed 6 unarmed, innocent people, and wounded another 13 in Tucson, Arizona and the shooting in Aurora, Colorado (allegedly) by James Holmes in July 2012, there were 60 mass shootings. Many of those involved assault style weapons, expanded capacity magazines, accumulations of arsenals of weapons, body armor, and large quantities of ammunition, and individuals known to law enforcement to present a danger to others who law enforcement was unable to prevent legal acquisition of the weapons used in the mass shootings.
Both ordinary citizens and law enforcement are often the victims in those mass shootings by the dangerously mentally ill, as in the case of the shootings on New Years day 2012 where Benjamin Colton Barnes in Washington state shot multiple people at a party, and then subsequently shot and killed a park ranger and injured three others.  Barnes had been the subject of a restraining order, which included notifying the court that he was dangerously violent and had shown signs of PTSD.  Barnes had a personal arsenal of weapons, including multiple military assault-style weapons, large quantities of hand guns, ballistic protection. 

Law enforcement under shall issue permitting is unable to prevent that acquisition.
In May 2012, Ian Stawicki, who had a long history of mental illness, and who was known to law enforcement to be dangerously violent, shot and killed five people in Seattle, Washington, and shot but only injured another, before committing suicide.  Stawicki had accumulated, legally, six hand guns prior to the shooting, including a high ammunition capacity pistol he used in the shootings.
An article below describes the frustration of those who know dangerously mentally ill people, but are unable to get them treatment when they resist that treatment as part of their illness.  It also describes how law enforcement is often aware weeks, months or even years in advance of mass shootings of the deterioration of the mental states of these people. 

It is ridiculous that law enforcement has their hands tied by NRA-pushed laws from preventing these obviously dangerous people from acquiring firearms legally - often the most lethal possible firearms, like assault rifles or high powered semi-automatic handguns with large capacity magazines that allow them to shoot a lot of people before stopping to reload.
from (97.3 FM) on Stawicki and other dangerously mentally ill people; the title is as true of law enforcement as it is of the families of the mentally ill.:
Families of mentally ill forced to deal with 'ticking time bombs'
For Ian Stawicki, years of mental illness ended when he took his own life on a quiet sidewalk in West Seattle. He had just carried out a shooting rampage that left five dead and one in critical condition.
Over the years he had become increasingly violent and prone to fits of rage, according to family members who saw the warning signs but felt there was nothing they could do. A police report from 2008 seems to signal the start of his deteriorating mental state.According to the documents, Stawicki had given his girlfriend a bloody nose and destroyed most of her personal possessions.
"The victim thought that sometime in December the suspect suddenly changed his personality," the police report states. "Although the suspect always 'had a temper,' he began breaking the victim's belonging when he flew into his rages. This behavior frightened the victim and she resolved to call 911 if it continued."
But while those closest to Stawicki knew he was in desperate need of help, he refused to accept it.
"I know it can feel for people as if there is no help out there, and they have tried things and they haven't worked," said Karin Rogers with Sound Mental Health in Seattle. "And that is very frustrating and very scary."
Rogers said families often struggle for years to get through to loved ones, often to no avail.
Julia, who wished to have her last name withheld, has a sister who has struggled with mental illness since the two were children. She understands all too well what the family of Ian Stawicki must have gone through.
"I wonder how many of us thought, 'Yeah. Yeah, that would be my loved one,'" she said of Wednesday's massacre at the hands of Stawicki. "I can't even imagine how difficult it must be for them [...] They're not the only family."
Julia's sister has lived with bipolar disorder for years, she said. While the family was hesitant to accept that she had a mental illness, it became clear when she threatened to kill strangers.
"As much as I knew she had problems, I didn't realize they were that extreme," Julia said of her sister.
While the family convinced her to agree to a 72-hour psychiatric hold, the stay did nothing to improve her mental state. Julia's sister refused further help and refused to take medication.
"We can't make her do anything," she said. "Our resources are exhausted. We don't know what else to do."
It is all Julia can do now to protect herself and her family. She does not allow her sister to keep guns in her home, out of fear that she is capable of murder.
"If she was armed, we would all be gone," Julia said. She called her sister a "ticking time bomb."
It is the same way the family of Ian Stawicki must have felt. His younger brother, Andrew Stawicki, told The Seattle Times he could see the bloodshed coming.
"It's no surprise to me this happened," he told the newspaper. "We could see this coming. Nothing good is going to come with that much anger inside of you."
His father, Walter Stawicki, told The Times on Thursday he regrets the family didn't do more to intervene, even if it meant lying to get him committed.
These mass shootings don't come as 'a surprise', although the pro-gun crowd likes to feign both alarm and astonishment.  People know there are problems with dangerously mentally ill people in advance, often including law enforcement.  However there is usually nothing they are able to do legally about that knowledge.  That includes law enforcement being unable to prevent the dangerously mentally ill from legally acquiring firearms, under shall issue - people like Stawicki, Barnes, Loughner, and Holmes.
Shall issue is deficient and badly defective; pro-gun advocates look at these mass shootings, have it called to their attention the purchases of weapons and other gear were legal, and they try to blame everyone but the legislation they push through for shall issue.  They try to blame the mental health care system, which their right wing politics hamstring with inadequate funding.  They try to blame law enforcement, as they attack their public unions, and whom they hamstring with shall issue, putting law enforcement in direct danger when they have to confront these armed people as a result of these mass shootings.  They blame everyone else, but the real blame falls on the pro-2nd Amendment gun advocates for the shall issue rather than the may issue regulation.  They make it possible for the legal acquisition of these firearms by the dangerously mentally ill and others. 
Blame the NRA and blame ALEC, and blame the right wing politicians they buy and conservatives who blindly support them and vote for them.  Follow the money when looking to assign blame and responsibility; every time shootings like this occur, gun sales and ammo sales go up. That profits the gun manufacturers, and gun retailers like WalMart. They broke a system that worked, 'may issue', and replaced it with one that was more dangerous, but more profitable for them as a special interest.
Now it turns out that the psychiatrist at the college in Colorado had also alerted law enforcement that there was a very real danger to others and himself from James Holmes, prior to the period of time during which he legally purchased the ballistic protection, assault style rifle, expanded capacity magazine, Glock hand guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, gas mask and other equipment used in the attack and in rigging his apartment to explode.
Lynne Fenton, James Holmes' Psychiatrist, Contacted Police Allegedly Before Aurora Shooting
James Holmes' psychiatrist contacted police before the Aurora shooting, according to ABC News report
The psychiatrist treating James Holmes told a University of Colorado police officer that she was worried about her patient weeks before he allegedly killed 12 people in an Aurora movie theater.
The allegation that Dr. Lynne Fenton warned authorities about Holmes' potential to harm others -- reported by ABC News -- is the second time she told others he was possibly dangerous.
Fenton, a member of the university's threat assessment team, reportedly told other committee members that Holmes, a Ph.D neuroscience student potentially jeopardized campus safety.
Though ABC's anonymous sources said Fenton took her concerns to the university officer "several weeks before" the July 20 rampage that wounded 58 others, it's unknown how the cop handled the tip.
Fenton talked with several members of the Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment team, too, but the full committee never launched an investigation into Holmes because the 24-year-old dropped out of the doctoral program about six weeks before the attack.
Doctors in Colorado can break confidentiality rules with patients if they become aware of imminent risks to others, Reuters reported.
read the rest of the article here
When events follow a pattern, over and over, and when one group or one special interest area of business benefits over and over after these mass shootings, and when they make it possible for these events to happen the way they do, it cannot be considered a coincidence or accidental that we have these mass shootings occurring so often.  It happens for a reason, and that reason is profit. That ignorant and easily manipulated conservative voters are deluded into helping this happen is the shame and failure of their political ideology.  This is not a bi-partisan phenomenon. It is a conservative-authored problem.

Is There a Race War Coming - Still?

Matt wants to know if we consider Wade a neo-nazi, then what do we call this black guy?

I thought talk of a race war was passé. But, what do I know?

One thing for sure, this guy makes the pro-gun paranoia look calm by comparison.

What's your opinion?

It's nice getting another point of view.

Quite literally from another place and time, Britain in the 1970s. Rumours were floating about of right wingers who were arming up should there be a full fledged swing to Socialism. Rumours about assassinating Tony Benn because he was too socialist. And I mean real socialism, not the bullshit accusations being tossed about by the loonie right in the US about "Barack Hoosain Obama"!

Anyway, here is something from 1970s British Sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin which might cause some feelings of deja vu.

Those who fail to learn history's lessons are doomed to repeat them.

US Athletes Not Wearing the Flag

Forget for a moment that wearing the image of the American flag violates flag code. (From section 176: Respect for the flag: "d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery." You're welcome.) Let's look at some of the things where America is at the top of the list.
1) Obesity
2) Divorces
3) Prisoners
4) Defense spending
5) School shootings
6) Child abuse
7) Gun violence
8) Student loan debt
9) Pornography
10) Fast food sales
Do you think some US athletes are reluctant to wear the flag in patriotic celebration? It is the traditional thing to do.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

The National Gun Violence Epidemic

Mass Shooting in Oak Creek: “You’re talking about Aurora one minute, and the next minute it’s you and your family.”
via Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Solutions to our national gun violence epidemic do exist. Smart laws – like those requiring background checks for every gun purchase and restricting access to assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines – can prevent future gun violence tragedies. When it comes to holding our legislators accountable, we shouldn’t demand anything less.

Marvin Hamlisch R.I.P.

Blackwater Fines Up to $50 Million

The security firm formerly known as Blackwater has agreed to pay a fine of $7.5 million to avoid US prosecution for smuggling arms, the Justice Department said in a statement Tuesday.

The company, now known as Academi, will pay the fine in addition to a previously agreed $42 million settlement with the State Department over violations of the Arms Export Control Act, the Justice Department said.

Under the agreement, the company previously known as Blackwater Worldwide and as Xe Services "admits certain facts" following a five-year, multi-agency federal investigation, said Thomas Walker, a prosecutor in North Carolina.

The probe "covered an array of criminal allegations," some "involving the manufacture and shipment of short-barreled rifles, fully automatic weapons, armored helicopters, armored personnel carriers," said the statement.
These guys change their name more often than crooked FFL dealers.

What's your opinion?  Are these private contractors a necessary part of our foreign policy? Or is this  just another example of crooked government spending policy?

Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting of PA 8-year-old - No Charges

Local news reports

An 8-year-old Point Township boy suffered a gunshot wound in an accidental shooting late Sunday morning.

Point Township Police Chief Joshua VanKirk said the victim was transported to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville by his father following the shooting that is believed to have occurred between 11:30 and 11:40 a.m. The exact location of the shooting was not revealed by police.

VanKirk said hospital personnel initially contacted Mahoning Township police about the shooting victim before the incident was referred to Point Township police at about noon when it was learned the shooting occurred there.

VanKirk said the investigation indicates the incident was an accidental shooting. He said no foul play is suspected.
What does "no foul play" mean? Isn't the fact that a little boy was shot with a gun evidence of "foul play?"

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Mass Shootings are dealt with in the USA

From the Daily Kos, which I am quoting in total since it is too accurate as to how these things are dealt with in the States:
Here we go again. Another mass shooting, this time a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
Here's what's going to happen:
1. The police and the emergency respondents will do their absolute best to investigate the crime and assist the wounded. That's actually happening right now. The truth is, our police, although they have their issues, are generally pretty good at what they do, and our EMTs and emergency care facilities are excellent.
2. There will be substantial media attention, the extent of which will depend on the number of people who were shot. If enough people are shot, a special mournful dirge will be written (as it was with the Aurora shootings)
3. In a day or so, various politicians will state that "our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families."
4. Many people will find themselves without medical insurance to cover their injuries, and will have to beg the community to pay for their bills, or the medical providers to reduce or waive them.
5. Some freakin' jackass like Allen West will claim that if he had been there packing heat, he could have shot the perpetrator dead. And there will be "other blame the victims for being unarmed"
6. The gun industry will benefit as sales of whatever weapon was used here will go up. The more people who are killed the better the sales will be.
7. People like me who criticize the ready availability of firearms capable of this type of mass killings will be criticized as "politicizing" the event.
8. The whole thing will be forgotten by the general public (but certainly not the victims) in two weeks, max.
9. Another massacre will occur. Repeat steps 1 through 8.

Wade Michael Page - American Gun Owner

Accidental Shooting Between Siblings with Daddy's Gun - Charges Uncertain

Local news reports

“The two juveniles were home alone when the 12 year-old boy went into his parent’s bedroom and retrieved his father’s AR-15 style rifle,” said Matt Nicholass with LMPD. “The boy brought the rifle into the living area of the home and began manipulating the gun. The rifle accidentally discharged and struck his 17 year-old sister in the shoulder while she was lying on the couch watching television.”
The 17 year-old victim was transported to the hospital by the paramedics for treatment. Her injuries are not life-threatening.

"This is still an ongoing investigation at this time and we are uncertain if charges will be filed,” Nicholass concluded.
Would someone explain to me how charges could be uncertain in a case like this? In California of all places, doesn't a case like this violate some laws?

What's your opinion?

Accidental Shooting of San Antonio Texas Cop at his Birthday Party - Investigation Ongoing

The Sacramento Boo reports

Investigators say an off-duty sheriff's deputy in South Texas has been shot in the hand during a party for his 26th birthday. 

Detective Louis Antu says the shooting appears to have been accidental. The deputy was being treated at a San Antonio hospital for an injury not believed to be life-threatening. 

Several guests were at the party when the detention officer was shot. Antu says authorities are trying to determine who fired the weapon and whether alcohol was involved.
I guess you can't be held responsible if you invide a bunch of drunk cop-friends to your party and one of them shoots you. It wouldn't be fair.

What's your opinion? 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tucson Survivors Demand a Plan

Domestic Attempted Murder in Akron Ohio Hospital reports

An Ohio man was in custody in Akron Sunday after allegedly shooting his wife of 45 years as a doctor was tending to her in intensive care, police said.

John Wise, 66, was charged with attempted aggravated murder after the 9 p.m. Saturday incident, WEWS-TV, Cleveland, reported.

Police said a doctor was attending to the woman when a man with a gun came into the room and fired once. A security guard then wrestled the gun away from the man and held him until police arrived.
They think it was a case of domestic murder. In other words, guns are bad news for women, once again.

What do you think?

More on the Sikh Murders

The LA Times reports

Tattoos on the body of the slain Sikh temple gunman and certain biographical details led theFBI to treat the attack at a Milwaukee-area temple as an act of domestic terrorism, officials said Sunday.

The designation of “domestic terrorism” under the FBI’s rubric — which was not applied to the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting — implies a political agenda. The FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
I know, there are 100 million gun owners and the Sikh-hating mass murderers are extremely rare. Isn't that the pro-gun rationale?

And, of course, if he hadn't owned any guns, he could have killed them with a jeweled ceremonial dagger.  The gun was just a tool.

What else, oh yeah, he was stopped by someone with a gun.  It could have been much worse.

I'm sure we'll see those excuses and others, anything to divert us from the fact that too many unfit people have guns and not enough is being done about that.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Limbaugh - Coulter

Sunday, August 5, 2012

YEEHAAA! Another mass shooting!

'Seven killed' in Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting! Maybe gun control won't stop mass killings, but not having gun control definitely doesn't stop them!

Did You Hear About the Shooting?

WhoWhatWhy has an interesting piece about mass shootings:
One of the most striking things about shooting incidents in America…is how common they are. Another striking thing is how often the media fails to note the previous point, or to explore what that means—or what might be done about it.

Late last night, a gunman walked into a movie theater in a Denver suburb, killed 12 and injured 50. Two days earlier a gunman opened fire outside a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in an incident in which at least 17 were hurt. These were not really so exceptional. Every year, about 100,000 Americans are victims of gun violence, and every week, people calmly enter our schools, our workplaces, our leisure gathering spots and open fire on innocent bystanders.

Whenever we tweet or post about these, often the only people we hear from are those who say we need more guns not less. “If I had been there with my gun….” The problem, of course, is the public at large is being asked to arm everyone and trust that, while the rest of us cower, “the right people” will quickly dispatch “the wrong people” in the modern equivalent of the Shootout at the OK Corral. No mention of whether the teacher is supposed to be armed…when a nut walks into a preschool and starts firing away.
Given that there have been 125 Mass Killings since Columbine, you think some serious solutions would be mentioned, yet it seems that there is the consistent response of inaction, or worse, the loosening of restrictions which make it easier for these incidents to happen.

Commenting on Pro-Gun Blogs

via Criminal Wisdom, a picture that reminds me of what happens when I comment on a pro-gun blog.

A Legitimate Defensive Gun Use

via TTAG where of course they had nothing but praise for the shooter and nothing but criticism for the cops who expressed concern about civilians defending themselves.

My opinion is, although wild shooting in defense of oneself is not recommended, and chasing after the fleeing bad guys is wrong, this was a legitimate DGU.

Did it save a life, though? Had it not been for her defensive action, would she have ended up dead?

No one could know the answer to those questions, but as was mentioned in our other discussion, most encounters do not end up with dead people, so it's not right to claim that Defensive Gun Uses save as many lives as some people like to say.

The National Disgrace - Executing Humans

From the New York Times Opinion Pages

Marvin Wilson, with an I.Q. of 61, is scheduled to be put to death in Texas on Tuesday. His execution would directly contradict the Supreme Court’s 2002 ruling in Atkins v. Virginia that “the mentally retarded should be categorically excluded from execution” because of “their disabilities in areas of reasoning, judgment and control of their impulses.” The court should accept Mr. Wilson’s case for review and end Texas’s illegal defiance of its explicit holding that the death penalty for the mentally retarded is unconstitutional.
What do you think? Is this a national disgrace, or what?

Maybe it would be better to call it a Texas disgrace, since they are the most likely to partake in this travesty of justice.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting of VA Man at Gun Range by Himself - No Charges

Local news reports

A man accidentally shot himself in the finger at the shooting range of Superior Pawn in Virginia Beach Saturday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for Virginia Beach police told that a man in his 50s was on the gun range when he accidentally shot the tip of his finger.
It is my opinion that a man who does that should lose his right to own guns.

Does that sound too harsh?  Why?

The gun-rights activists are continually telling us we cannot take people's rights away because of what they might do in the future,  They refuse to consider mental health screening for fear that it'll be abused and unfairly restrict responsible people.  But how can they justify continuing to allow people who have proven themselves to be negligent to own guns?

It's wrong. Where guns are concerned, it should be one strike you're out.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

The Roots of American Gun Violence

The Edmonton Journal Op-Ed by Jason Opal, associate professor of history at McGill University in Montreal.

For more than 200 years, the men who most needed personal sovereignty were slave owners. Their demands - for work, sex or amusement - carried the force of law on their farms and plantations, in the sense that enslaved people who denied those demands could be whipped, beaten and, yes, shot. Most masters preferred persuasion, but they retained the right of violent force rather than granting that power to the larger social good as expressed in law. As a result, they loved the local and state governments that they controlled and hated all other governments, be they British or federal. 

The other major demand for sovereignty came from frontier leaders and communities terrorized by native peoples. American history is littered with frontier violence, much of which took place outside the purview of the national government.
Isn't that a hoot? Slavery and frontier vigilantism are the parents of today's cherished individual sovereignty.

What's your opinion?  Does the professor have a point? 

Please leave a comment.

Loughner to Plead Guilty - He's Eligible for the Death Penalty

Loughner, 23, is charged with 49 criminal offenses including first-degree murder over the shooting rampage, which wounded 13 people. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf last year.

The Wall Street Journal, which also reported that Loughner would plead guilty, said Tuesday's mental status hearing had been changed to a change-of-plea hearing, citing an official familiar with the case.

If U.S. District Judge Larry Burns were to determine at Tuesday's hearing that he was fit for trial, Loughner - who is being forcibly medicated to treat his psychosis - could face the death penalty if found guilty.
Mentally ill people belong in hospitals, not jails, and they certainly should not be put to death.

What could  be clearer than a case in which the authorities have to medicate the suspect to treat his psychosis before he's even capable of standing trial?

The NRA, the gun manufacturers and their lobby machine are more responsible for this crime than this pathetic, sick man. That's where our focus should be, on the root of the problem.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.