Saturday, July 27, 2013

Taking Issue With MikeB's Post Regarding 50% of Gunloons Who Need to Be Disarmed

Please read MikeB's excellent post here.

I have no major quibbles but I do have some minor problems with it.  Mike quite correctly notes that issues such as alcohol and drug abuse, mental illness,  anger issues and the profoundly stupid should disqualify people from gun ownership.  And that these problems cut across all segments of society. are the problems I see.  First, as Mike notes "Obviously some of the marijuana and cocaine users also could be binge drinkers, and some of the rage guys are fueled by alcohol, so we will have some overlap."

Very true.  But I strongly suspect abuse of drugs and alcohol is fairly intertwined; that is, folks who abuse alcohol will alos tend to abuse drugs--whether it's coke or meth or prescription meds such as painkillers or anti-depressants.

Second, Mike assumes such problems are normalized evenly across all segments of society.  They are not.  Instead, the preponderance of such issues tends to occur at the fringes.  Think about it: are you more likely to have anger issues if you enjoy a satisfactory social and professional life or if you feel there are unknown forces constantly conspiring against you?  Isn't one who lacks self-esteem and lives in constant irrational fear more apt to abuse alcohol and substances?

Third, stupidity and clumsiness.  Probably an issue that cuts evenly across society.  However, we're not talking about operating a toaster--we're talking about handling a deadly weapon.  As we know, very few gunloons are adequately trained.  Those who receive training usually do so from folks equally inept to safely handle firearms.

Bottomline:  The true numbers:

Alcohol and/or substance abuse:  35%
Anger Issues/Mental Illness:          15%
Lack of training:                             75%

Note these percentages aren't cumulative.  But what they tell us is about 35% of gunloons should be disarmed because of substance abuse and mental illness issues.  But the biggest problem is that the overwhelming majority of gunloons are simply unqualified to own a weapon.

Children Most At Risk from US Gun Violence

They didn't like this one too much over on TTAG.

Minnesota 5-Year-old Shoots his 9-Year-old Sister - No One Held Responsible

A 9-year-old Oakdale girl is expected to survive after her 5-year-old brother picked up a .22-caliber rifle and accidentally shot her in the chest, police said Friday night.
The girl, whose name was not released, was shot in the living room of her family’s home in the 1800 block of Helena Road, said Oakdale police officer Michelle Stark.
Police were called to the home about 6:30 p.m. The girl was able to talk with officers before an ambulance took her to Regions Hospital, where she remained Friday night, listed in stable condition with a noncritical injury, Stark said.
“We are lucky — yeah, very lucky,” Stark said.

Baltimore Official Wants to Crack Down on Toy Guns

Alabama is Loosening Its Already Loose Gun Laws

The Troy Messenger reports.  Remember, Alabama is one of the dumbest states in America, so they're loosening the gun laws.

Alabama’s gun laws are changing come Aug. 1, and the changes are significant.

Under the new law, several changes make it easier for individuals to carry guns – even without a permit and even to work, thanks to changes to the conceal-carry laws. According to an NRA summary, the new law:

• Allows those who possess a valid Alabama pistol permit to keep firearms stored in their vehicle while at work, as well as allowing those who possess a valid Alabama hunting license to store an unloaded rifle or shotgun used in their vehicle while at work.

• Allows transportation of a handgun in a vehicle without an Alabama pistol permit as long as the handgun is unloaded, locked in a container and out of reach of the driver or passenger.

•Shifts the current “May Issue” concealed carry permit system to a “Shall Issue” permit system and requires that a sheriff must issue or deny the carry permit within thirty days. Should someone be denied a permit, a written denial must be provided and that applicant would have an opportunity to appeal the denial.

• Requires sheriffs to use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to conduct a background check on concealed pistol permit applicants.

• Allows for all other valid state-issued permits to carry a concealed firearm to be recognized in Alabama.

• Extends the current Castle Doctrine to include places of business to ensure the right of self-defense does not end when you enter your business.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Legitimate DGU - Or Not? - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - | 

The dead boy was screaming "someone's tryin' to kill me."  Does that sound like he was breaking in to "get the family?"  No, of course not.  It sounds like he was in some kind of distress and the shooter over-reacted.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

The Famous 50% (Lawful Gun Owners Who Should Be Disarmed)

A few years ago I wrote a post called The Famous 10%. It became one of my most popular, arousing much animosity from the gun-rights fanatics and frequently quoted and referred to by gun control advocates.  I reposted it here.

Almost immediately it became clear that I had been much too generous in the assigning of percentages. Soon I was talking about 35% and not long after that 50%

If you spent as much time as I do reading about gun violence, I think you'd agree with me, unless, of course, you had a personal agenda to protect.

Here's how it breaks down.

Divided into the approximately 65 million gun owners (see the latest Pew Poll) we have the following amounts.

Alcohol abuse is difficult to define, but let's take a study that found that 30% of Americans abuse alcohol. That translates straight across the board to gun owners. Please note that we're not including the regular, normal drinkers, whom some believe should be disqualified as well.  These are the binge drinkers and the out-and-out alcoholics. That's  30% of gun owners who need to be disarmed for alcohol abuse.

Drug abuse is also difficult to define, let's take a survey that says 10% of Americans abuse illicit drugs.
That's another 10% of gun owners who need to be disarmed for drug abuse.

Mental disorders afflict many Americans.  One conservative estimate says 22% are sufferers.  It may sound harsh, but if you have a mental condition that requires medication for you to function in society, you cannot be trusted with guns. That's another 22% of gun owners that need to be disarmed for mental illness.

Rage and anger affects many people. Estimates say 7% of adults suffer from Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED).  That's another 7% of gun owners that need to be disarmed for their anger problems.

FBI Crime Stats show us that about 500,000 crimes are committed with a gun each year.  Let's say most are committed by criminals and only a small percentage by folks like this guy who had no previous felony convictions. Let's call it 1%.  That's 1% of gun owners who need to be disarmed for turning bad.

Stupidity and clumsiness affects many people. We frequently read stories like this one representing stupidity, and this one representing clumsiness. Let's be generous and say another 1% only.  That's 1% of gun owners who need to be disarmed for stupidity or clumsiness.

Obviously some of the marijuana and cocaine users also could be binge drinkers, and some of the rage guys are fueled by alcohol, so we will have some overlap.

Let's round it down to a nice even 50%.  That's 50% of lawful gun owners who need to be disarmed.

Now, before you attack me for being so anti-gun, please take note of the fact that I believe in the rights of the other 50%.  I don't think the 2nd Amendment has anything to do with it, being an obsolete, meaningless and antiquated piece of writing, but I do believe that the other 50% has every right to own and operate guns.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Are There Really a 100 Million Gun Owners?

A Pew Research Center survey in early May found that 41% of adults reported having a gun in their household: 27% said they personally owned a gun, and 14% said the gun or guns in their home were owned by someone else.
There is a substantial gender gap when it comes to gun ownership: men are almost three times as likely as women (40% vs. 14%) to personally own a gun. However, women are more likely than men (by 22% to 6%) to live with someone else who owns a gun. Overall, 46% of men live in a gun-owning household compared with 36% of women.
Gun ownership also differs substantially by region. Higher percentages in the Midwest (29%) and South (30%) say they own a gun. It’s less common in the Northeast (19%) and the West (25%).
You know what I'm wondering right now? How does 27% of the adult population translate into 100 million gun owners?

Answer: it doesn't.  It doesn't even come close.

You know, the longer you stick around the gun debate, the more lies you uncover on the part of the pro-gun fanatics. They invent them because they sound good and because they support their losing position, and then they repeat them over and over again, thoughtlessly, stupidly.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Georgia Man Arrested at the Empire State Building

A tourist from Georgia was arrested Tuesday after he brought a gun to the Empire State Building, police said
The 39-year-old man was waiting on a security checkpoint line at about 7 p.m. when he saw a sign stating no firearms were allowed inside the building, police said.
The man told the security screener he was carrying a .40-caliber pistol in his waistband and that he had a permit to carry in his home state. 
He and a friend were taken into police custody; the friend was released, but the man is facing charges for illegal gun possession in New York, according to police.

We see genius gun owners do this kind of thing from time to time. Obviously they're not planning on committing a crime or doing anyone harm.  But, don't their actions violate some basic rules of gun safety?  Wouldn't this be part of the famous situational awareness they're always talking about? 

Presumably in order to arrive in NYC from Georgia this guy had to pass through states that don't look too kindly on his being armed.  He was oblivious of this fact. Then to arrive at his destination so completely unaware of the local laws - it boggles the mind.

Guys who do this should suffer the full consequences of the one-strike-you're-out rule. They should lose the right to own guns.  It wouldn't be enough to just send him home with a slap on the wrist because the same kind of nonchalance towards gun laws applies there too.  Even in the backward State of Georgia there are places where guns are prohibited.  This guy has proven he cannot be trusted to follow the rules.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

South Carolina Can't Keep Up with the Concealed Carry Permit Applications - Columbia, South Carolina |

Second Defense Alliance Offers DGU Insurance

Brian Dorow is Associate Dean of Criminal Justice at Waukesha County Technical College.  He teaches people how to practice the 2nd Amendment safely.
"It's a huge responsibility.  It's your right, but at the same time, the training is what will take you a long way," Dorow says.
He says even if a homeowner shoots an intruder in self defense he or she could face some scrutiny.  "You may satisfy all the legal requirements, you may be completely justified, but ultimately you may still be subject to some civil litigation, or a civil lawsuit."
That's where services like Second Defense Alliance, or SDA, come in.  It'a a new group that helps handle the legal, financial, and emotional risks of shooting a home invader.  Tim Brennan is the COO of SDA.  He says, "The biggest thing is people just don't think about what they would do after they defend themselves with a firearm."
For about $11/month, a legal gun owner can become a member.  SDA will take care of all the messy cleanup of a home shooting.

Magazine Capacity Ordinance Shot Down in Santa Fe

The Santa Fe City Council’s meeting room was filled to overflowing for Wednesday’s hearing on a plan to ban gun magazines with more than 10 rounds. (Greg Sorber/journal)
The Santa Fe City Council’s meeting room was filled to overflowing for Wednesday’s hearing on a plan to ban gun magazines with more than 10 rounds. (Greg Sorber/journal)

ABQ Journal

SANTA FE — A controversial Santa Fe ordinance that would have banned the possession, sale or transfer of any gun magazine with more than 10 rounds of ammunition went down in defeat late Wednesday night. The vote against the ban was 6-2 after nearly three hours of pro and con public comment on the measure.

Supporters of banning high-capacity magazines said a common thread in recent mass shootings was the use of guns that allowed a large number of bullets to be used in a short period of time. The small amount of time necessary for shooters to reload their weapons has the potential to save lives, some said. Others said it’s time for the government to start enacting greater gun control legislation. 

Opponents, including representatives of the Republican Party of New Mexico and National Rifle Association, said the ordinance is a violation of their constitutional right to bear arms and people have the right to protect themselves and their loved ones. They said the ordinance won’t make Santa Fe safer, will infringe on responsible gun owners and will be difficult to enforce. The city will also waste money defending the ordinance in court, some said.

Where are all the Hispanic people in that picture?  And what about the blacks.  I thought gun rights was an equal opportunity cause?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Children's Defense Fund Report - Guns Do More Harm than Good

Mississippi ranks fourth in the nation for child and teen gun deaths, according to a report released today by the Children's Defense Fund, a 40-year-old child advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

The purpose of the report, "Protect Children Not Guns 2013," is to show gun violence is the reason for high death and injury rates for children and teens, CDF leaders said.  

The report also claims that the National Rifle Association is shielding the truth about gun violence. 

"For years the NRA has blocked the truth, and actively fought against the passage and enforcement of gun safety laws," said Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund. "Together we can -- and must -- raise our individual and collective voices and demand our political leaders do better right now to protect children, not guns." 

Mississippi ranks fourth in the nation for child and teen gun deaths. The states with the highest death rates include:

1. Alaska
2. Louisiana
3. New Mexico
4. Mississippi
5. Montana
6. Missouri
7. Maryland
8. Arizona
9. Alabama
10. Wyoming

Louisiana had the highest number of gun homicides, and Alaska ranked first in suicides.

The article points out that the NRA is to blame for its successful efforts in blocking gun control laws which would affect these dubious statistics.  I extend that blame to the gun-rights fanatics who support the NRA or who are sympathetic with its cause.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tom Diaz Responds to a Coward's Threat

Rush Limbaugh on Slavery

This reminds me of the popular pro-gun nonsense that compared to the total number of gun owners the number of kids who are killed each year is insignificant, certainly nothing to warrant changes in gun laws.

North Carolina Approves Gun Law Changes - Governor Expected to Sign

What does it mean, "the number of handgun permits issued in a year?"

Gilberton, PA Police Chief Mark Kessler

I've got an idea. Maybe this guy can replace Ted Nugent on the NRA Board.

Gun Charge Dropped against Man Who Shot Pit Bull Attacking Child in D.C.

Washington Post

With three pit bulls attacking a young boy on the street outside his Northwest Washington home in January, he grabbed a 9mm Ruger P90 handgun from his bedroom, ran outside, and shot and killed one of the dogs. A D.C. police officer shot and killed the other two.
Srigley legally bought the handgun in Virginia but failed to register it in the District. His act of saving a child’s life exposed him as a criminal, and as unwitting fodder for gun-rights advocates who saw his case a perfect example of why they assail as draconian the District’s laws that make owning guns exceedingly difficult.
Srigley’s action left the D.C. attorney general’s office, which typically prosecutes gun offenses involving unregistered firearms, with a conundrum: criminally charge and possibly jail a man deemed a hero in his Brightwood neighborhood, or leave him be and endure criticism that some of the strictest gun laws in the nation are not evenly enforced.

Little-Known Group Massively Outspends The NRA On Gun Lobbying

A little-known group based in Virginia spent more than $3 million lobbying against gun control legislation this spring, massively outspending the National Rifle Association, according to records compiled and published on Tuesday by the Center for Public Integrity.

The second-quarter tally for the National Association for Gun Rights was almost four times what the nation's most famous pro-gun organization, the National Rifle Association, spent on lobbying during the same period. The NRA spent $840,000 during the quarter, a near record for the organization, according to the center.

National Association for Gun Rights spokeswoman Danielle Thompson told the center her organization will continue this year to "be a thorn in the side of senators who seem to ride the fence on this issue," and "spend whatever we believe it takes during the remainder of this year to make sure no new federal gun control becomes law."

The efforts were ultimately successful, too. A major push to expand background checks on gun purchases died in the Senate in April.

Gunloons: Burn Your Money. It's More Effective Than Giving It To the NRA.

Though it spent nearly $11 million on the 2012 election, the National Rifle Association saw less than 1 percent of its money go toward its desired result, according to the Sunlight Foundation—a nonpartisan group that uses data to promote government transparency.
While the NRA supported 27 winning candidates, it used the majority of its donated funds to target Democrats, many of whom wound up defeating their Republican rivals.
According to the Sunlight's data, the gun rights group doled out nearly $9 million to oppose Democrats, spending nearly $7.5 million to run ads opposing Barack Obama alone.
Elsewhere, the NRA earmarked nearly $500,000 to target Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and another $575,000 to defeat Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and candidate Tim Kaine in Virginia. All three of them won.
Though it spent far less money supporting Republicans, the NRA did pony up $1.8 million to back Mitt Romney's campaign and spent another $537,000 on Indiana senatorial hopeful Richard Mourdock, who lost.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gunloons and Natural Selection

Tom Diaz's Response to A Coward's Threat

The One and Only Ted Nugent

Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina, Visits a Gun Manufacturer

Since when is a few thousand views called going viral?  It's not. But in the world of the gun-rights fanatic, where they twist everything they can to aggrandize guns and their popularity, calling a pro-gun video viral when it's not is SOP.

Two Kansas City Gun Owners - Used to be Friends - Now One's Dead


The Mentality of Concealed Carry Permit Holders

I am a gun owner. I support the 2nd Amendment and the right to self-defense. Although I’m not a police officer or a gun expert, I am one of the 8 million Americans with a concealed weapons permit. And the most important lesson I’ve learned from the George Zimmerman case is, “Don’t go looking for trouble.”
During training for my concealed weapons license, the instructors consistently emphasized one point: Our firearms should be regarded as a last resort to save our lives when we have no other alternative.
Part of the ethos of responsible concealed weapons permit holders is to avoid getting into dicey situations whenever possible. We should remain aware of our surroundings at all times. We should avoid getting into unnecessary conflicts. If conflicts arise, we should attempt to defuse rather than escalate them. If some jerk gets angry because he thinks we stole his spot in the grocery store parking lot, we should back down or remove ourselves from the situation — precisely because we recognize the deadly consequences if things escalate out of control.
Greg, and I'm afraid many other concealed carry permit holders, don't quite see it like that.  For them, backing down when you're in the right is unthinkable.  It's giving in to evil. It's letting the thugs take over.  To these brave men with gun-muscles, one must draw the line and never submit. Nothing less than freedom is at stake.
What's your opinion?  Do you think our level-headed gun owner who wrote the article is the norm?  Or, do you think the insecure, overly-touchy characters obsessed with freedom and rights are?
Please leave a comment.

UAPB Linebacker Killed by Friend in Accidental Shooting

Local news reports

Lydell Hartford, Jr., freshman linebacker for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff football team died yesterday in a fatal accident in Waggaman, Louisiana. Coaches and administrators at UAPB are saddened by the details of the accident released by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office (JPSO).

According to authorities, a 16-year-old boy identified as Hartford's friend was playing with a gun and accidentally shot and killed him early Tuesday morning. Hartford, 20, was pronounced dead after suffering a gunshot wound to the neck, according to Glen T. Boyd, spokesman for the JPSO.

Hartford and the teen were in his mother's 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, parked in the driveway of Hartford's home, Boyd said. The teen discovered a .38-caiber pistol that also belonged to Hartford's mother inside the car and began to remove the bullets. Hartford warned him to stop, but the teen ignored Hartford and kept unloading bullets until he thought the gun was empty. The boy squeezed the trigger three or four times until the pistol fired a bullet that hit Hartford in the neck. The teen pulled him out of the vehicle and laid him on the driveway. Hartford died about an hour later, Boyd said.

The 16-year-old boy was arrested and booked with negligent homicide. The Sheriff's Office is not identifying the teen because he is a juvenile.

The gun owner should have been arrested along with the young shooter. Is leaving an unsecured gun in a car allowed in the State of Arkansas?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Washington Man Arrested in the 4-Year-old Shooting Death

It had all the hallmarks of a homicide: a victim shot dead, the gun ditched away from the body, a suspect on the run.
But police now say the tragic shooting death of a 4-year-old Washington state boy was actually accidental.

The one-time suspect,Trevor Braymiller, is in custody but not for shooting little Dwayne Kerrigan. Instead, police say Braymiller, a convicted felon and the boyfriend of Dwayne’s mother, faces charges for illegally possessing the gun the little boy used to shoot himself.

Felons in Washington are not allowed to own firearms, and Braymiller, police say, has past drug convictions.

Except for the fact that he looks a lot like James Holmes, he was practically a lawful gun owner. Being a disqualified person for a non-violent offense is something that practically all gun-rights advocates feel is wrong.

But, being an ex-felon is one sure way to be held responsible for an accidental shooting with your gun.  Too bad the police don't treat all gun negligence that seriously.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Guns and Suicide

Statistics drive home the point:

-- More than 38,000 Americans, including roughly 600 Kentuckians, take their lives each year, and those numbers are growing. From 1999 to 2010, suicide rates in Kentucky rose 22 percent to 14.2 deaths per 100,000 residents. Indiana's rate rose 26 percent, to 13.1 per 100,000; the U.S. rate rose 15 percent, to 12.1 per 100,000.

-- Guns are used in about half of U.S. suicides, compared with 64 percent in Kentucky. And suicides involving firearms are fatal 85 percent of the time, compared with less than 3 percent for pills, according to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.

-- Nine in 10 suicides are associated with mental illness, according to studies examining "psychiatric autopsies" of mental health history after death. But gun laws in Kentucky and Indiana allow all but a small fraction of the mentally ill to buy firearms from licensed dealers, or obtain them without restraints from family members, friends, gun shows or online.

-- For those who do survive a suicide attempt, studies show that 90 percent don't go on to die by their own hands later.

Liberal Viewer on the Civil Suit and Challenging Stand Your Ground

Virginia Woman Fires at Seven People, Including Children, for Turning Around in Driveway

Hawkins woman allegedly fires at seven people, including children, for turning around in driveway
Margie Rhea Ramey, 72

Times News reports

A Virginia couple who took their five children on an outing at Bays Mountain Park Sunday afternoon were greeted with gunfire shortly after crossing the Hawkins County line in an attempt to take a scenic route home.

Oscar Scott of Rose Hill, Va. told the Times-News that he and his family decided to explore a scenic way back into Virginia through Hawkins and Hancock counties.
Almost immediately after crossing the Hawkins County line, however, they came upon Bays Mt. Road which runs adjacent to the Sullivan County line.
“We came around the side of the mountain and saw a road that turned to the right that said Bays Mt. Road,” Scott said. “We figured we’d take it and see if it came out at Bays Mountain Park. We got pretty far down that road and you could see where it turned into an old log road, so I put the vehicle in reverse to turn around.”
Scott added, “Just as I got it into reverse she started shooting at us.”
Scott said a woman setting on her porch about 150 feet from the road fired two shots at the 1999 Chevy Tahoe he was driving. One shot actually hit the running board on the passenger side just a few feet from where his five children, ages 4-12, were seated.
How much you wanna bet the plea-bargain the charges down and granny gets to keep her guns? That's how they do it in rural Virginia. That's how the gun-nut cops and the gun-nut prosecutors conspire to help out the other gun nuts when they get in trouble.

Lawful Missouri Gun Owner Arrested for Firing Gun in Church

Wright County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man, who reportedly fired two shots with a handgun inside the 1st Baptist Church of Norwood Sunday morning.

Sheriff Adler says 48-year old Earnest Smith of Norwood is charged with assault, discharging a firearm from a habitable Structure, unlawful use of a weapon, making a terrorist threat and armed criminal action.  Smith remains in custody in the Wright County Jail with bond set at $250,000 cash only. 

At 11:35 Sunday morning, a 911 call was made, indicating a man was inside the 1stBaptist Church with a gun. The caller said the man fired his weapon and was tackled by church members. An off-duty deputy overheard the dispatch and was at the church within minutes and took custody of Smith without incident.

He may also have a concealed carry permit, but those records are secret and no one is checking anyway.  That's how Missouri has such a good record of concealed carry permit holders committing very few crimes.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Monday, July 22, 2013

National Rifle Nut Association - A word about guns

Armed Citizen Project Should Provide Treadmills instead of Shotguns

Armed Citizen Project

Washington 4-Year-old Dead in Accidental Shooting - Ex-Felon Sought

Arkansas 3-Year-old Dead - No One Responsible

Local news reports with video

On the 21st July 2013, around 3:46pm, the Sheriff's Office received a #911 call reporting a child had been shot. Deputy Brandon McKiever, Deputy John Beranek, and Trooper Jason Dooley of the Arkansas State Police responded. Lt. Jim Kulesa responded. The 3 year old male child was pronounced deceased at the scene by med-flight. Initial investigation revealed the child was at a friend of the family's residence on Kerr Station Road, when he picked up a 9mm automatic. The handgun went off striking the child. Lt. Kulesa related this is being investigated as a death investigation. There is no signs to indicate foul play at this time.

Nebraska 6-Year-old Dead in Accidental Shooting - No Details

Local news

A northeast Nebraska family is mourning the death of a 6-year-old boy killed in an accidental shooting.

Madison County Attorney Joe Smith says the boy died around noon on Saturday. The shooting happened at the family's home in a rural area near Battle Creek.Smith says he won't release the circumstances of the shooting, but he called it a sad tragedy.Smith says the boy's name won't be released, and he considers his investigation closed.

That's another trick they use, release no details.  This is how gun nut police and gun nut prosecutors protect gun nut parents from unnecessary charges.  It was only an accident after all, and haven't they suffered enough already?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Hoodie or Sweatshirt?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Little Discussion on Stand Your Ground Laws

The point of the stand your ground laws was to prevent people who engaged in self defense from being wrongfully convicted of murder or manslaughter. They were passed in reaction against cases where prosecutors were pushing juries to second guess whether there was some avenue of retreat that might have worked when evaluating situations with the benefits of hindsight rather than asking if the person reasonably feared for their life, which is the traditional legal standard.

Maybe this reaction went too far--I'm open to hearing actual suggestions for better solutions to that problem. On the other hand, constantly calling them "get away with murder laws" and claiming that they were passed to sanction vigilantism is dishonest, idiotic, and getting old and tired.


  1. That's not what the point is. It's about an adolescent, school-yard concept of not backing down. Previously the self-defense laws required a person to retreat if possible in order to avoid shooting someone. But, that was too unpalatable for the macho assholes behind the SYG movement to swallow. Backing down is not manly, especially when you're in the right. It's a pride-driven distortion of what's right and it completely loses sight of the fact that the lives of bad guys, being human lives, are valuable too.

NRA's Colorado Recall Efforts Falling Apart

Even before the erotic email blast, there were signs that all was not going as planned in Colorado's recall elections.
It started with promise. In March, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a sweeping gun control package that mandated background checks for all private and online gun sales, increased fees for firearm purchases, and banned magazines that contained more than 15 rounds of ammunition. (Existing magazines were grandfathered under the law.) The measures, which received no Republican votes in the historically gun-happy legislature, sent the state’s conservative activists into a frenzy. They quickly prepared a legal challenge with backing from the National Rifle Association—and then they developed a plan to get even. Within days, they'd started gathering signatures to recall four Democratic legislators who had helped push the reforms through, including state Senate president John Morse.
But that was easier said than done. An effort by a group called the San Juan Freedom Defense Committee to recall state Rep. Mike McLachlan, who represents a sprawling district on the New Mexico border, failed when opponents failed to produce the necessary 10,586 signatures. (In Colorado, a recall is triggered when 25 percent of the most recent electorate signs on.) The planned recall campaign against state Sen. Evie Hudak fell apart, too.

Florida's Stand Your Ground Law Protects Murderers and Those Guilty of Manslaughter - Like Zimmerman

Huffington Post

Although George Zimmerman's defense team did not request a Stand Your Ground hearing, one of the jurors told CNN's Anderson Cooper that the self-defense law was considered in their not-guilty verdict.
Florida first adopted the self-defense law that removed the duty to retreat in 2005, and local law enforcement immediately identified the trouble in providing citizens with a shoot-first-ask-questions-later right.
"Whether it's trick-or-treaters or kids playing in the yard of someone who doesn't want them there or some drunk guy stumbling into the wrong house," former Miami police chief John F. Timoney told the New York Times, "you're encouraging people to possibly use deadly physical force where it shouldn't be used."
In the eight years since, the law has been invoked to protect drug dealers and gang members from murder charges, and it's allowed personal disputes over lovers, possessions, and yes, trash bags, to escalate into bloody murder scenes without consequences.
"What in the hell is our state government doing passing a law encouraging our citizens to solve disputes with guns?," Arthur Hayhoe, executive director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told the Tampa Bay Times. "This is the right-to-commit-murder law."

Support for Capital Punishment is Waning

AP Photo  /Tony Dejak
Ariel Castro, center, enters the courtroom for his arraignment Wednesday, June 12, 2013, in Cleveland. Castro, accused of holding three women captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to hundreds of charges, including rape and kidnapping

The National Post

Public support for capital punishment remains strong, solidly 60% in both the U.S. and Canada, which abolished it in 1976, and came within two dozen House of Commons votes of reinstating it in 1987.
But there are signs this modern period of American justice might not last. In March, Maryland became the most recent of five states in six years to abolish capital punishment.
What these votes have revealed is a country formally divided, state against state, on a life and death issue.
Virginia, Ohio and national leader Texas are lined up against New York, New Mexico and Michigan, with California unsure where to stand, as it curiously registers death sentences but does not carry them out. Only nine states used it in 2012. It was 13 the year before. The national tally is 32 with, 18 without, and closing.
“I think what’s taking place is a gradual movement away from the death penalty that now has, by almost any measure, made it into an institution used by a minority of the population in a minority of the counties,” said James Liebman, professor of law at Columbia Law School in New York.

Adam Kokesh for President in 2020

Adam Kokesh (Reuters / Jim Young)
Adam Kokesh (Reuters / Jim Young)

Jailed gun rights activist Adam Kokesh has vowed to run for president of the United States in 2020 on a platform aimed at abolishing the federal government.

Kokesh, 31, has been in a Fairfax County, Virginia jail cell ever since a high-profile police raid of his suburban Washington, DC home earlier this month left him facing a potential felony conviction. If released in time for the 2020 presidential election, though, the libertarian talk show host has plans to pursue a shot at the White House.

In order to pretend to be a martyr, he's refused to post the $5,000 bail the judge allowed. Maybe that's some kind of Libertarian ethic.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

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