Saturday, February 2, 2013

Debunking Gunloon Myths

I've debunked most, if not all, of these gunloon arguments.  But it's nice to have them in one place.

Mother Jones

Constitutionally Protected Women's Rights in Jeopardy

What I can't understand is how gun-rights fanatics are among the most vocal adversaries to women's rights.

Jon Stewart on the Senate Hearings

Jimmy Lee Dykes - The Alabama Abductor

Yahoo News reports

After four anxious days, only the slimmest of details has come to light in a police standoff with an Alabama man who is accused of holding a 5-year-old boy hostage in a bunker, a sign of just how delicate the negotiations are.

Police have used a ventilation pipe to the underground bunker to talk to the man and deliver the boy medication for his emotional disorders, but they have not revealed how often they are in touch or what the conversations have been about. And authorities waited until Friday — four days after the siege began — to confirm what was widely known in this age of instant communication: The man accused of killing a school bus driver and abducting the boy Tuesday was 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, a Vietnam-era veteran who was known to neighbors as a menacing figure.

Explanation of the Ammo Shortage

Student of the Gun via Ammoland

What are the conspiracy nuts saying? Maybe Orlin can tell us, he's got his finger on the pulse.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Atlanta School Shooting

CBS reports
A student opened fire at his middle school Thursday afternoon, wounding a 14-year-old in the neck before an armed officer working at the school was able to get the gun away, police said.

Multiple shots were fired in the courtyard of Price Middle School just south of downtown about 1:50 p.m. and the one boy was hit, Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said. In the aftermath, a teacher received minor cuts, he said.

The wounded boy was taken "alert, conscious and breathing" to Grady Memorial Hospital, said police spokesman Carlos Campos. Grady Heath System Spokeswoman Denise Simpson said the teen had been discharged from the hospital Thursday night. Campos said charges against the shooter were pending.
The gun rights folks are right about one thing, armed guards in schools can be a good thing. The only problem is they offer that as the only solution while gun control folks want to know where a 14-year-old got a gun and what can be done to prevent that in the future.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

The Definitive Comparison between the UK and the US

via Dispelling the Myth


United Kingdom:
“Violent crime contains a wide range of offences, from minor assaults such as pushing and shoving that result in no physical harm through to serious incidents of wounding and murder. Around a half of violent incidents identified by both BCS and police statistics involve no injury to the victim.” (THOSB – CEW, page 17, paragraph 1.)
United States:
“In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force.”   (FBI – CUS – Violent Crime)
We can clearly see here there is quite a large difference in how both countries report and assess what qualifies as “violent crime”. The UK’s approach seems to be a lot more encompassing in scope and adds to its definition of “violent crime” offences which are not matched by its US counterpart. This raises the obvious question of whether UK violent crime rates can be said to be higher simply because things considered “violent crime” in the UK are not so in the US. One example is “assault”, all forms of which are considered “violent” in the UK, whereas in the US only “aggravated” is considered violent. A further example revolves around sexual offences, only “forcible” rape featuring in the US definition, while the UK definition includes rape and any and all forms of sexual assault.
Therefore, it becomes practically impossible to draw any objective comparison between the two, unless one trawls through the various definitions of crimes that can be said to be the same in definition and execution in the UK and the US. I’ve actually done this, and by going through the PRC and FBI – CUS it is possible, I believe, to find a number of crimes which I think are fairly indicative of the prevalence of “violence” in either country. To this end, I have isolated robbery, burglary, homicide / murder,  knife crime, fatal shootings, rape of a female, grievous bodily harm / aggravated assault and theft of a vehicle in order to give us a fair idea of which country is more “violent.” The relevant definitions and rates for each crime will be presented below in their own sections.
However, before we proceed onto that stage, I thought it would be useful to present the actual figures of “violent crime rates” for both countries that has spurned this research in the first place, and the mathematics involved in calculating the figures and statistics for each relevant isolated crime.

Women's Rights in Mississippi - A Joke

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The NRA When it was Sane

Alabama Hostage Situation - 3rd Day

Local CBS News reports
Speaking into a 4-inch-wide ventilation pipe, hostage negotiators tried Thursday to talk a man into releasing a kindergartener and ending a standoff in an underground bunker that stretched into its third day.

The man identified by multiple neighbors and witnesses as 65-year-old retired truck driver Jimmy Lee Dykes was accused of pulling the boy from a school bus on Tuesday and killing the driver. The pair was holed up in a small room on his property that authorities compared to tornado shelters common in the area.

James Arrington, police chief of the neighboring town of Pinckard, said the shelter was about 4 feet underground, with about 6-by-8 feet of floor space and a PVC pipe that negotiators were speaking through. Court records showed Dykes was arrested in

Florida in 1995 for improper exhibition of a weapon, but the misdemeanor was dismissed. The circumstances of the arrest were not detailed in his criminal record. He was also arrested for marijuana possession in 2000.
As we mentioned the other day, this dangerously anti-social character was a lawful gun owner.  I say we need to raise the bar a tiny bit on who can legally own guns.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Murder - Suicide in Mesa Arizona

USA Today reports with video

Wednesday's shooting in an office complex in north-central Phoenix will claim a second life, and police say a body found Thursday morning in a shopping center here is the suspect.

Shooting victim Mark Hummels, a partner at Phoenix law firm Osborn Maledon, "will not survive from the shooting," according to a statement from the firm. Hummels was shot in the neck and back.

Arthur Douglas Harmon, 70, whose body was found Thursday, appears to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos said. Harmon's vehicle, a rented Kia Optima, also was found in the area.

"The body discovered in Mesa this morning has been identified as Arthur Douglas Harmon, the suspect in yesterday's shooting," Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said Thursday in a news release. Harmon had not been seen since fleeing the north-central Phoenix office complex where he was accused of shooting two men and another bystander following a pre-litigation meeting.
Not only was this guy a lawful gun owner, in all probability, but he enjoyed Constitutional Carry. It makes you wonder how many walking time bombs there are in Arizona carrying concealed guns legally.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Piers Morgan Interviews the Sheriff and Mayor of Milwaukee

Senator Leahy Grills Wayne La Pierre


Here is the transcript:
LEAHY: Do you still, as you did in 1999, still support mandatory background checks at gun shows? Yes or no?
LAPIERRE: We supported the National Instant Check System on dealers. I — we were here when Senator Birch Bayh, one of your colleagues, held the hearings in terms of who would be a dealer and who would be required to have a license. If you did it for livelihood and profit, yes. If you were a hobbyist, then no.
LEAHY: Let’s make — let’s make it easier, though. I’m talking about gun shows. Should we have mandatory background checks at gun shows for sales of weapons?
LAPIERRE: If you’re a dealer, that’s already the law. If you’re talking…
LEAHY: That’s not my question. Please, Mr. LaPierre, I’m not trying to play games here. But, if you could, just answer my question.
LAPIERRE: Senator, I do not believe the way the law is working now, unfortunately, that it does any good to extend the law to private sales between hobbyists and collectors.
LEAHY: OK, so you do not support mandatory background checks in all instances at gun shows?
LAPIERRE: We do not, because the fact is, the law right now is a failure the way it’s working. The fact is, you have 76,000-some people that have been denied under the present law. Only 44 were prosecuted. You’re letting them go. They’re walking the streets.
Read the exchange again. When LaPierre eventually gets to the point of answering the question, after three attempts by Leahy, the head of the NRA has changed the subject. Instead of talking about non-dealer gun show sales, he starts talking about the failure of the federal government to prosecute criminals after they have been denied an opportunity to purchase a gun. Because of this, he says, the background system of dealers, which he still supports, failing, and therefore should not be extended. The argument is not entirely logical. (He admits the dealer checks are effective in preventing gun sales, even if criminals are not prosecuted for their attempts.) But it is textbook LaPierre.

Piers Morgan could learn how to demand an answer from Senator Leahy.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

David Keene Talks about Harry Reid's Support for Gun Rights

National Rifle Association President David Keene             CNN reports

National Rifle Association President David Keene signaled Thursday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat who has enjoyed the powerful gun lobby's support in the past, could prove pivotal in the heated debate over gun control. 

Reid has found himself in a delicate position as he tries to navigate the desires of many members of his pro-gun rights Nevada constituency and the White House and members of his caucus' intensified push over gun control. As Senate majority leader, Reid has great influence to speed or slow the consideration of legislation on Capitol Hill.

"He's under incredible pressure right now because he's got, as any member of Congress or senator does, he's got his own beliefs. He's got the views and the demands of his constituents on the one hand and the pressure he faces from party leaders and his president on the other," Keene told journalists at a Christian Science Monitor sponsored breakfast Thursday. "So where Harry Reid ends up in this debate is anybody's guess and I think that's one of the guessing games that's going on around Washington now." 

Reid has twice opposed the assault weapons ban back in 1992 and 2004, has a B rating by the NRA for his pro-gun rights voting record and since 2008 has received just shy of $8,450 from several gun lobbies according to an analysis of campaign contributions from the Center for Responsive Politics.
It doesn't seem to me that $8,000 in contributions should be a deciding factor. Perhaps Reid is a true believer - many from Nevada are.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Gun Nuttery Quote of the Day

via Arkansas Blog

Some gun nuts often try to rile me on Facebook. In their world, the 2nd Amendment permits NO regulation of guns of any kind. People like me and Antonin Scalia who think it DOES permit some sensible rules — such as background checks prior to purchase — are often derided. Gotta love this comment today on such a post: 
I wish the people that don't like or want guns would go back to Europe or wherever their family came from. This is why we started this country
You know me, I hate to generalize, but this is Arkansas.

January 2013 Visits and Page Views

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lawful Alabama Gun Owner Kills Bus Driver - Takes 5-Year-old Hostage

 Huffington Post
A gunman holed up in a bunker with a 5-year-old hostage kept law officers at bay Wednesday in an all-night, all-day standoff that began when he killed a school bus driver and dragged the boy away, authorities said.

SWAT teams took up positions around the gunman's rural property and police negotiators tried to win the kindergartener's safe release.

The situation remained unchanged late Wednesday, with negotiations ongoing, Alabama State Trooper Charles Dysart told a news conference. He said no additional information would be released until Thursday morning.

The gunman, identified by neighbors as Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver, was known around the neighborhood as a menacing figure who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a shotgun.

Wayne La Pierre Before the Senate

You know how you can tell when Wayne La Pierre is lying?

The TRACE Act to Combat the Flow of Illegal Guns

Lake View Patch
U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) will reintroduce the Trafficking Reduction and Criminal Enforcement (TRACE) Act, which cracks down on the illegal gun market by improving gun tracking data.  The bill also repeals the Tiahrt Amendments, which hamper law enforcement’s pursuit of criminals who buy and sell illegal guns.

“The TRACE Act is the type of commonsense gun control reform we need to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people,” said Rep. Quigley. “Our law enforcement officials face a sea of illegal weapons flooding our streets, but the TRACE Act will close the loopholes that allow criminals to obtain illicit guns and choke off the supply to traffickers.”

“For nearly a decade, the Tiahrt restrictions have hampered our nation’s law enforcement officials and kept the public in the dark about gun traffickers. By removing these dangerous restrictions, this bill goes a long way toward restoring access to critical gun data that can help protect our communities,” said Mark Glaze, Director of the bipartisan coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

“I want to thank Congressman Quigley for his continued efforts in the fight to end gun violence in America, and I urge lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to follow his lead,” Glaze continued.

"Congressman Quigley is to be commended for his leadership on this issue," said Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign. "Now more than ever, we need leaders like Congressman Quigley who can stand up and help us to fight for the comprehensive proposals put forth by the White House.  There is no one solution to this epidemic of violence but the TRACE Act is an important piece of that effort.  We applaud the Congressman for introducing it now."

While criminals often obtain guns on the black market, those guns generally originate from licensed dealers.
Let's repeat that last idea. Almost all guns in criminal hands started out the legal property of someone. It's not important if criminals buy guns on the black market from other criminals, what's important is how those guns moved from lawful ownership to criminal.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Pennsylvanians for Gun Control

Gun control is generally a tough sell in Pennsylvania - a Republican-ruled state with a large rural population - but a new poll suggests strong support for some measures, especially universal background checks on gun buyers.

A Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday found that voters in the state support requiring background checks for all gun purchases by a margin of 95 to 5.

Six in 10 voters in the Keystone State also favor a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, while nearly as many support a ban on the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds, the poll found.

Senator Patrick Leahy on Background Checks

Leahy acknowledged the deep ideological divide inside his panel, but also asserts that Judiciary “has done more legislation than just about any other committee” under his leadership.

Leahy said he will be pushing for an expansion of background checks on all gun sales, a proposal that appears to have bipartisan Senate support in the Senate and broader appeal to the American public in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting.

The Vermont Democrat, though, pointedly didn’t mention the assault weapons ban.
“I just don’t understand how anyone could be against universal background checks,” Leahy said in an interview. “We need to close the loopholes” from private gun sales or weapon purchases at gun shows.

To me this is the one issue that really shows the gun-rights advocates for what they are. We've heard all the excuses, from private citizens don't have access to the NICS system, to people should be allowed to do what they want with their property.  All of it's nonsense.

The fact is, gun rights fanatics care only about gun rights.  They don't care if guns will flow more easily into the criminal world or if more people will be killed as a result. Self-centered in the extreme, they care only for their own convenience and in never giving in an inch in the battle for their so-called rights.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

More on the "Chicago" Lie

from The Corner Tavern in response to David Mamet's article thanks to democommie

Ah, that old saw. Tough gun laws don’t stop crime, because – Chicago! Only Mamet, unlike most who repeat this trope, hilariously misfires by including Washington, D.C. in the gun-laws-equal-more-crime argument. As it happens, the 2012 murder rate in the nation’s capital was the lowest it’s been since 1963.

But he is correct that the murder rate spiked in Chicago last year. It probably has nothing to do with the city’s “tough” gun laws, though; and, in fact, the opposite may be the case. As I’ve explained before, Chicago had a handgun ban in place until the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down in 2010.

Meanwhile, according to the 2011 Chicago Murder Analysis published by the Chicago Police Department (.pdf file), the city’s murder rate declined more or less steadily from well over 900 murders a year in the early 1990s to around 435 murders per year in 2010 and 2011. 2011 Chicago Murder Analysis, p. 4. 

So, the facts, Dave, are these: Chicago’s murder rate declined by more than half from the early 1990s to 2010, all while the city’s handgun ban was in effect; but two and a half years after the handgun ban was stricken down, Chicago’s murder rate ticked up by about 17% (from 433 in 2011 to 506 in 2012). Whether or not the recent increase in Chicago’s murders is related to the Court striking down the city’s handgun ban, you simply can’t argue that the opposite is true, because the murder rate plummeted under even tougher gun laws than Chicago has today. Facts, man. They always get in the way of the narrative.

About David Mamet's Article on Gun Control

from The Corner Tavern via democommie

Imagine you’re a playwright whose chief talent is finding creative ways to use the word “fuck.” Imagine, too, that the more you use the word “fuck,” the richer you become. And the richer you become, the further removed you are from reality. Imagine you become richer and richer and further and further removed from reality, till you morph into one of your own characters, hurling invective into the void of cyberspace. 

You’ve just become David Mamet. Mamet, who is, let’s face it, a fucking genius when it comes to saying “fuck,” is considerably less talented when it comes to understanding American history. And when it comes to understanding the U.S. Constitution, well, he’s a fucking idiot. On those topics, he has all the analytical skills of an eleven year old boy obsessed with comic books and superheroes – not altogether unlike the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, who responded to the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School thusly: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” 

Today, Mamet provided a sterling example his pre-adolescent, superhero-worshipping take on our history and our Constitution in an article entitled “Gun Laws And The Fools Of Chelm,” on Newsweek’s Daily Beast website. Mamet’s piece is comical both in terms of it’s razor-thin analysis (“Karl Marx summed up Communism as ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’”) and its desperate attempt to appear intellectual (“This is a chillingly familiar set of grievances; and its recrudescence was foreseen by the Founders”); but its most damnable feature is that it’s utterly devoid of facts. Mamet doesn’t cite or link to a single source anywhere in the piece, even when he quotes the Declaration Of Independence. (See, that wasn’t so hard.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An Explanation of the Term "Gun Porn"


The urban dictionary refers to gun porn as the fetish images of guns lit like porn models (no gender or orientation specified), or as exaggerated gore and violence in the portrayal of guns. The way I'm using the term here it is the connection between guns and the sexuality of guys who aren't getting any - or not what they want, and their desire for firearms to make them feel manly and powerful, and therefore appealing to women who want them with guns but not without them.

The Constitution - An Ancient and Outdated Document

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn on the Gun Buy Back

Can States Ignore Federal Laws?

The Shorthorn
Actually, though, the Civil War long ago resolved the question of whether a state or a state official can nullify or refuse to comply with federal law. Laws passed by Congress are, as the Constitution states and as the war validated, “the supreme law of the land.” Further, the Constitution provides that “Judges in every state shall be bound thereby.” So, too, are state legislators who swear, as part of their oath of office, to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Laws passed by Congress cannot be ignored by state officials, whether they like the laws or not. But any law deemed to violate the liberties of the people or the sovereignty of the state may be challenged through the courts.
Interesting. The professor indroduced that observation after referencing some of the states that are rushing to pass legislation that they will not be bound by future gun laws.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

The President's Skeet Shooting Remark

Rep. Blackburn told us recently what her first priority is, now it seems her second priority is attacking the president. It's just plain rude to accuse someone of being a liar, especially, as Roland Martin pointed out, it's not important whether the president does skeet shooting regularly or not.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Seattle Gun Buy Back Hijacked by Gun Dealers Offering Cash

Local news reports

The so-called gun show loophole which allows guns to be sold without a background check allowed private dealers to effectively hijack a weekend effort by Seattle police to get guns off the street.

Following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut last month, Seattle raised $120,000 to hold the first gun buyback effort in 20 years at a downtown parking lot on Saturday.

The plan was to trade gift cards for guns that would later be destroyed, but a number of dealers set up a mini-gun show just a block away in a effort to buy up the guns and keep them in circulation. 

“I pay cash, I don’t give Amazon gift cards,” one dealer told a gun seller in video captured by KING.
“It’s a historical firearm, I would hate to see it get destroyed,” a buyer remarked to another gun owner. “I’ll give you $100 cash for it.”

“I would rather see it turned back into the gun community here and used to promote shooting sports,” a dealer explained to KING.

Mason Vranish bought a rocket launcher off of a man who had come to trade it for a gift card, but police confiscated the weapon on the suspicion that it had been stolen from the U.S. military.

Jon Stewart with Bob Costas - The Gun Culture

Jon Stewart on Women in the Combat Zone

He makes some very funny jokes, but do you agree? Weren't the same arguments made against female firefighters and police?  Aren't some of the male soldiers slight of build?

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

NRA - La Pierre Won't Budge Even on Background Checks

Washington Post

The National Rifle Association has released the text of NRA head Wayne LaPierre’s Senate testimony a day early.

And, unsurprisingly, he’s taking a defiant tone.

Perhaps most interestingly, LaPierre is prepared to attack not just the proposed assault weapons ban, but also the universal background checks that are perhaps the least controversial aspect of the current debate and the early focus of the White House.

“And when it comes to the issue of background checks, let’s be honest: Background checks will never be ‘universal,’ because criminals will never submit to them,” LaPierre will say.
In this report of the upcoming statement by Wayne La Pierre, not only does he express the NRA's refusal to cooperate on background checks, but he does it in a less-than-honest way.  The fact that criminals won't cooperate has nothing to do with it.  By saying that, he attempts to paint gun control folks with the brush of stupidity, as if we really think criminals will be affected. Plus he deflects attention from the fact that law-abiding gun owners, who would be affected, are the source of criminal guns. In fact, private sales without background checks is one of the four ways in which guns move from lawful ownership into the black market.

Continuing in his mendacious way, La Pierre goes on to lament the mental health system and the criminal justice system, more deflection from the first main problem which is gun availability to unfit people.

Is it any wonder that gun rights advocates are so difficult to reason with?  They have Wayne La Pierre showing them the way.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ronald Reagan Agreed - Scalia too

Drones - The Real Story

Massachusetts Does Not Share Mental Health Records with the FBI

The Boston Globe
Despite its reputation as a state with strong gun control laws, Massachusetts has for more than a decade failed to provide the FBI with mental health reports on people seeking to buy guns, the result of a state law prohibiting such sharing. Massachusetts has submitted just one mental health record to the federal database since 1999, a period in which the FBI has processed 1.6 million background checks of state residents who seek to buy guns from federally licensed dealers.
Guess who's responsible for the laws which prevent states from entering this vital information into the federal data base? That's right, the NRA and the gun lobby.  Who else?

Now, in order to deflect attention from the problem of gun availability, they point fingers at the failure of the mental health system.

Gun rights folks are nothing if not hypocritical and self-centered.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Stephen King's Pro-Gun-Control Essay

Stephen King has entranced millions with tales of dread but his latest volume will read like a horror only to the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates. The best-selling author made an unexpected charge into the national debate on gun violence on Friday with a passionate, angry essay pleading for reform.

King, who owns three handguns, aimed the expletive-peppered polemic at fellow gun-owners, calling on them to support a ban on automatic and semi-automatic weapons in the wake of the December shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school which left 20 children and six adults dead.

"Autos and semi-autos are weapons of mass destruction. When lunatics want to make war on the unarmed and unprepared, these are the weapons they use," King wrote.

He said blanket opposition to gun control was less about defending the second amendment of the US constitution than "a stubborn desire to hold onto what they have, and to hell with the collateral damage". He added: "If that's the case, let me suggest that 'fuck you, Jack, I'm okay' is not a tenable position, morally speaking."
I find it shocking and unbelievable that apparently Stephen Kind doesn't know what semi-auto means. Is that possible? I like the rest of what he says very much.  How about you?

The Bastardization of the 2nd Amendment by the NRA

Op-ed in The Gazette
The National Rifle Association is misrepresenting the Second Amendment and the men who created it. The founders never intended the amendment as justification for citizens to make war on their government.

George Washington, desperate to retire to Mount Vernon, only agreed to attend the Constitutional Convention because of his concerns about the inadequacies of the Articles of Confederation. The weak Continental Congress and its inability to supply his army’s needs throughout the war and his distress over Shays’ short-lived rebellion in Massachusetts convinced him the country needed a strong central government to hold the states together. James Madison, after an exhaustive study of governmental systems throughout history, reached the same conclusions by the time the two men arrived in Philadelphia.

They hoped for a standing army capable of fending off any new challenges. When it became apparent the nation couldn’t afford it, they decided to rely on a militia system. Every home would keep a musket in working order and be ready to come to the nation’s defense if needed.

Trigger Happy Los Angeles Cops Shot Unarmed Man in the Back

The LA Times reports

Jose de la Trinidad, a 36-year-old father of two, was shot Nov. 10 by deputies who believed he was reaching for a weapon following a police pursuit. But family members and a witness to the shooting said that De la Trinidad, who was unarmed, was complying with deputies and had his hands above his head when he was shot.

De la Trinidad was shot five times in the upper and lower back, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's report dated Nov. 13. The report describes four of those wounds as fatal. He was also shot in the right forearm and right hip, with both shots entering from behind, the report found.

“Here's a man who complied, did what he was supposed to, and was gunned down by trigger-happy deputies,” said Arnoldo Casillas, the family’s attorney, who provided a copy of the autopsy report to The Times. He said he plans to file a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department.

This story initially said that the two deputies involved in the shooting were place on administrative leave immediately following the shooting. They were taken off patrol and returned to duty five days later.
I wonder if we'll hear that old justification from the gun-rights crowd that shooting a guy in the back is sometimes necessary because he could pull a gun real quick and fire over his shoulder as he's running away.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bill Maher on the 2nd Amendment

Accidental Shootings at Gun Shows

The Des Moines Register reports:
An Iowa gun dealer was hospitalized after he accidentally shot himself in the hand before a gun show Friday afternoon at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The 54-year-old St. Charles resident told police he was showing off a .25 caliber pistol he thought was unloaded when he slid the action of the gun causing it to fire. The bullet went through his left palm, according to a Polk County Sheriff’s report.
Writing on Taylor Marsh, Joyce Arnold asks, seeing as how this is the 4th accidental shooting at a gun show since Gun Appreciation Day:

Question: I wonder if things like this happen regularly, or is it just being reported now, because of the actual, deadly mass shootings forcing attention?

No Charges for Tennessee Pastor whose Negligence Resulted in the Grandson's Death

Local news reports
A Hamilton County grand jury has chosen not to indict a grandfather after his 2-year-old grandson accidentally shot himself with the man's pistol.

The Hamilton County District Attorney's Office had pursued a charge of criminally negligent homicide against Stan Nowell. The grand jury last week issued a no true bill, meaning they did not believe there was enough evidence against Nowell to take the case to trial.

"They have to determine probable cause to issue the indictment, and they didn't find that in this case," Executive Assistant District Attorney Neal Pinkston told the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Two-year-old Brennan Nowell shot himself on Dec. 20 after his grandfather left a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol on a chair.
We're not jumping to rash conclusions in this case. The unconscionable negligence of grandpa was been swept under the carpet. He will not he held accountable for his actions, and worse yet, he will continue to own guns and retain his gun rights.

A shining example of a Tennessee lawful gun owner if ever there were one.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Gun Control in Japan

Eric Talmadge, Associated Press

Though its gun ownership rates are tiny compared to the United States, Japan has more than 120,000 registered gun owners and more than 400,000 registered firearms. So why is there so little gun violence?

"We have a very different way of looking at guns in Japan than people in the United States," said Tsutomu Uchida, who runs the Kanagawa Ohi Shooting Range, an Olympic-style training center for rifle enthusiasts. "In the U.S., people believe they have a right to own a gun. In Japan, we don't have that right. So our point of departure is completely different."

Treating gun ownership as a privilege and not a right leads to some important policy differences.
First, anyone who wants to get a gun must demonstrate a valid reason why they should be allowed to do so. Under longstanding Japanese policy, there is no good reason why any civilian should have a handgun, so - aside from a few dozen accomplished competitive shooters - they are completely banned.

Virtually all handgun-related crime is attributable to gangsters, who obtain them on the black market. But such crime is extremely rare and when it does occur, police crack down hard on whatever gang is involved, so even gangsters see it as a last-ditch option.

Rifle ownership is allowed for the general public, but tightly controlled.

Applicants first must go to their local police station and declare their intent. After a lecture and a written test comes range training, then a background check. Police likely will even talk to the applicant's neighbors to see if he or she is known to have a temper, financial troubles or an unstable household. A doctor must sign a form saying the applicant has not been institutionalized and is not epileptic, depressed, schizophrenic, alcoholic or addicted to drugs.

Gun owners must tell the police where in the home the gun will be stored. It must be kept under lock and key, must be kept separate from ammunition, and preferably chained down. It's legal to transport a gun in the trunk of a car to get to 1 of the country's few shooting ranges, but if the driver steps away from the vehicle and gets caught, that's a violation.

1st Murder in NYC in Nine Days

New York Post reports
The city broke a nine-day murder-free streak last night when a man was found dead in the basement of a Queens apartment complex, police said.

The 20-year-old victim, whose name was not released, had been shot in the head. 

He was found just after 6 p.m. in a building in the LeFrak City complex in Corona.

The slaying was the first in the city since Jan. 16, when Jennifer Rivera, 20, and her uncle, Jason Rivera, 30, were gunned down execution-style while sitting a parked car in The Bronx.

The nine days without murders came amid brutally low temperatures that cops say usually keeps criminals indoors — and homicides and other street crime to a minimum.

“Jack Frost is the policeman’s best friend,” quipped an NYPD source.

Last year saw just 414 homicides — a record chalked up to concentrating police operations in high-crime areas.
Even last year's record low number of murders averaged out to more than one a day. So, no murders for nine days is a big deal. Maybe this year will be another record low. The Post article attributes it to police procedures, but I can't help thinking that the gun laws have something to do with it too.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke: Arm Yourselves

via Penigma

More right wing extremist efforts to promote Vigilantism

Want to bet this guy gets a lot of NRA and related money? If he can't do his job he should get down off his high horse, and lead it into the sunset, making room for someone who is competent to do the job. This is what the right tries to do when it cuts spending on essential services like law enforcement in the name of smaller government, at the same time they are generous in handing out corporate welfare, and taxing the rich less. It is just one more way to gin up fear, sell guns, and profit one of their core special interests.

This is NOT good government, it is an attempt at legislating bloody anarchy.

Minnesota Concealed Carry Permit Holder Shoots Himself by Accident - No Charges

Today's Accidental Shootings
Plymouth Police say a man is in the hospital after he accidentally shot himself inside a Rainbow Foods Sunday afternoon.

The shooting occurred inside the bathroom of the grocery store.  The man suffered a non-life threatening injury to his lower leg.

Police are not sure how the gun discharged. There is no indication that this is anything other than an accident.

No one else was injured. Police say the man has a conceal and carry permit.
He probably went to the Eddie Eagle Program as a kid and then started shooting at a very young age. He may have had military experience and several firearms safety training courses along the way.

Still he turned out to be so irresponsible and dangerous with his gun that on this particular day, like many before it, he violated one or more of the 4 Rules of Gun Safety. The difference this time was he put a bullet in his leg.

Would it be too harsh to consider a man like this a danger to himself and others and strip him of his guns and gun rights?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Baton Rouge Teen Dead - 16-Year-old Charged

Today's Accidental Shootings via Laci
A 16-year-old suspect was charged with negligent homicide after accidentally shooting a 17-year-old male on the 1500 block of N. 24th St. around 3 p.m.

Police say the two teens were playing with a handgun when it discharged, hitting the victim in the back.

The victim has been identified as Marcus Williams of 474 Bernardo Drive. He was pronounced dead a local hospital due to a gunshot wound to his back he sustained from the shooting.
Down Louisiana way you don't want to shoot people by accident and be black too. That'll get you arrested every time.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stolen Guns - What's the Solution

via TTAG

The solution is obvious. Since stolen guns mainly from homes is one of the four major ways in which guns move from lawful ownership into the criminal world, safe storage laws are necessary.

Recently, I posted what I consider to be the proper gun control laws, including safe storage in the home.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Lead-Free Ammo for Hunting

USA --(, there is a lot of discussion right now about changes to our gun laws as a result of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.

This article is not about gun control or the Second Amendment, but rather about removing toxic materials from hunting ammunition and fishing tackle.

For the past decade there has been debate over regulation or restrictions on the use of lead ammunition for hunting activities that cause lead exposure and poisoning for birds and other wildlife. 

The effectiveness, cost and availability of copper and other non-lead hunting ammunition has dramatically improved in recent years. Increasing numbers of hunters are switching to non-lead rounds because they are better for hunting, better for wildlife, and safer for hunters and their families.

Almost three hundred groups from around the country have joined the Center for Biological Diversity’s call to finally phase lead out of lead hunting ammunition. For the sake of people, wildlife and a lead-free environment, it’s time to make this happen.

Let’s be clear about what this is, and isn’t, about. This has nothing to do with restricting hunting or the Second Amendment. Our organization has hunters and non-hunters as members. Many hunting groups are promoting non-lead ammunition. The legal effort to restrict lead in hunting ammunition and fishing equipment has everything to do with getting toxic lead out of our environment and nothing to do with restrictions on hunting and fishing. Nothing.
There are good reasons we took lead out of gasoline, plumbing, house paints and children’s toys! Lead is an extremely toxic material that is dangerous at almost any level to all life forms.
Fortunately, there are proven, effective alternatives to lead for nearly every caliber of ammunition used in hunting. A recent scientific article, Lead-Free Hunting Rifle Ammunition: Product Availability, Price, Effectiveness, and Role in Global Wildlife Conservation, found that:
  • Lead-free bullets are made in 35 calibers and 51 rifle cartridge designations;
  • 37 companies distribute lead-free bullets internationally;
  • There is no major difference in the retail price of equivalent lead-free and lead-core ammunition for most popular calibers;
  • Lead-free ammunition has set bench-mark standards for accuracy, lethality and safety.
(Vernon George Thomas, Ambio: A Journal of the Human Environment, 4 January 2013).

Hundreds March in Indiana for Gun Rights

Local news reports


Did you get that, hundreds vs. thousands. The times they are a-changin'.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting Death of Tennessee 15-Year-old - No Charges

Local news reports

Knox News wins the prize for best situational oxymoron of the year:  

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reviewed the case and found no evidence of foul play.

I wish our friend Tennesseean was still coming around.  He could explain to us why this young man's father is not in jail right now.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Thousands March in D.C. for Gun Control

 Yahoo News

Thousands of people, many holding signs with names of gun violence victims and messages such as "Ban Assault Weapons Now," joined a rally for gun control on Saturday, marching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument.

Leading the crowd were marchers with "We Are Sandy Hook" signs, paying tribute to victims of the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials marched alongside them. The crowd stretched for at least two blocks along Constitution Avenue.

The NRA on Dianne Feinstein's Assault Weapons Ban


On Jan. 24, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced S. 150, her long-anticipated bill to ban "assault weapons" and "large" magazines.  Contrary to media claims that Feinstein wants to "reinstate" the 1994 ban, the bill will go much further toward her stated long-term goal of gun confiscation, imposing a host of absurdly broad definitions and onerous restrictions:
Ban the sale, transfer, manufacture or importation of 157 named firearms. Presumably, these were chosen by looking at pictures, as Sen. Feinstein has said she did before introducing her first legislation on the issue in 1993.
You know how you can tell when the NRA is lying? Well, lips moving isn't really gonna work here, but you know what I mean. 

They use "gun confiscations" in the broadest possible sense to conjure up frightening images of jack-booted government officials going door-to-door.  Of course Sen. Feinstein never said any such thing.

Thinking people know this, but the NRA minions don't think.  They just repeat - and repeat.

The other lie is about choosing the weapons to be prohibited by "looking at pictures." The inference is that Diane Feinstein is a ditzy broad who knows nothing about guns and picked out the bad ones ONLY by their appearance.  This is another oft-repeated lie. Do they really think there were no advisors of any kind? Do they really think that as a gun owner herself, the Senator didn't know just a little bit about guns? 

Of course they know better, but like the wrong party in any argument, they need to resort to lies and tricky language to hold their own.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.