Saturday, April 12, 2014

Former Justice John Paul Stevens: The Five Extra Words that Can Fix the Second Amendment

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

Washington Post

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution placed limits on the powers of the new federal government. Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of the Second Amendment, which provides that “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
For more than 200 years following the adoption of that amendment, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by that text was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, in United States v. Miller, decided in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated Militia.”
When I joined the court in 1975, that holding was generally understood as limiting the scope of the Second Amendment to uses of arms that were related to military activities. During the years when Warren Burger was chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge or justice expressed any doubt about the limited coverage of the amendment, and I cannot recall any judge suggesting that the amendment might place any limit on state authority to do anything.
Organizations such as the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and mounted a vigorous campaign claiming that federal regulation of the use of firearms severely curtailed Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Five years after his retirement, during a 1991 appearance on “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” Burger himself remarked that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Colorado Man Gets Probation for Accidentally Shooting His Friend

Local news reports

Following a last minute plea change, Carmello Cruz, 43, of Englewood, was sentenced to 12 months of parole for the Oct. 13, 2013, shooting of his friend, Rocky Mendez of Carbondale. Cruz originally pleaded guilty to second degree assault for the incident, which he has maintained was an accident. 

At a sentencing hearing on April 8, District Chief Judge James Boyd raised concerns that the charge might be qualified as a “crime of violence,” which would make probation problematic. The court delayed the sentencing by a day to address the issue. 

On April 9, Cruz withdrew his second degree assault plea and instead pleaded guilty to a count of tampering with physical evidence and a count of 3rd degree assault with a deadly weapon. “I think there’s still an arguable ambiguity about whether this is a crime of violence,” public defender Tina Fang said at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, calling the incident “a horrible accident.” 

Both Fang and Assistant DA Ann Norton cited a Colorado Bureau of Investigation forensics report which indicated that the weapon may have had wear or damage that made it susceptible to inadvertently firing. 

Early on the morning of Oct. 13, Cruz was drinking with Mendez and another man, identified as Mendez’s nephew, in a shed near the end of Garfield Avenue just outside Carbondale. While handling a handgun reportedly owned by Mendez’s nephew, Enrique, Cruz fired two shots, one of which hit Mendez. He then fled the scene at the urging of his friends and threw the weapon onto a nearby hill.

Maryland Felons, Fugitives and Wife-beaters Bought Guns During Backlogs

More than 300 people banned from owning guns were able to buy them last year because the state police were overwhelmed with background check requests, police said Wednesday.

People with histories of mental illness or convictions for violent misdemeanors, felons and fugitives were able to obtain and keep guns for three months or longer before state police reviewed the sales, according to records released by request to The Baltimore Sun.

Maryland State Police finally cleared the backlog of background-check requests last week that began more than a year ago and once stood at more than 60,000, leading to months-long delays in investigating thousands of firearm transactions.

Police say a team of undercover troopers has recovered nearly all of the 364 firearms sold to people barred from owning them, but four guns have not been retrieved. "To us, the danger has not passed," state police spokesman Greg Shipley said.

Nine transactions have been referred to prosecutors as knowingly illegal sales, he said.

Over the course of last year, dealers released 51,812 guns before a background check was completed. They could legally do that because of a loophole that allows them to give out firearms after waiting a week, regardless of whether the check is done. Normally, the seven-day waiting period provides plenty of time for state troopers to conduct the check and notify dealers.

It seems the law in Maryland is that The State Police conduct the background check INSTEAD OF depending on the federal NICS check. Sounds pretty crazy to me.

The Oscar Pistorius Trial

Oscar Pistorius weeps during his murder trial. AFP PHOTO

Local news reports

The "Bull Terrier" for the umpteenth time today reiterated that Pistorius could not take responsibility for anything. 

"Any firearm owner would say it is wrong."

Nel pressed Pistorius further on being negligent with his gun and the athlete finally conceded that he was negligent and it was wrong of him to leave his gun unattended on the boat.

The athlete also said the entire incident of firing his weapon out of the sunroof of the car was fabricated and untrue despite separate testimony's from his former friend Darren Fresco and ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor.

He said both had different versions of the story and both had fabricated the fact that he had fired his gun out of the sunroof.

While questioning was continuing, Steenkamp’s mother June, slipped out of court quietly.

What do you think, guilty or not guilty? 

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Pro-Gun Idea of Nurturing

Cenk Uygur - Understanding the Pro-Gun Mentality

Marine Killed on Camp Lejeune - Negligent Shooter in Custody

Lance Cpl. Mark N. Boterf died after a single gunshot wound to the chest while on watch at the main entrance to the sprawling base, the Marine Corps said in a statement late Wednesday. No charges have been filed, and the Pentagon said the shooting appears to have been an accident.
Camp Lejeune spokesman Capt. Joshua Smith said Wednesday that a Marine colleague discharged a single shot from his M4 rifle in a guard shack at the main base entrance Tuesday and remains in custody. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating.
The name of the shooter, who is male, hasn't been released. No charges have been filed at this time. Other guards were at the gate, but no one else was hurt, officials said.
Indications point to a "negligent discharge" as the cause of Boterf's death, Department of Defense spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren told reporters.
Emergency personnel attempted to revive Boterf, but he was later pronounced dead at a base hospital.

Why No Guns on Military Bases

USA Today

The overriding concern of those who wrote the rule was safety — the idea that ubiquitous guns, mixed with young soldiers in stressful conditions, could lead not just to accidental shootings but also to fistfights escalating to gunfire, or to more suicides, which already plague the military.
As horrific as mass shootings are at military installations, they're rare. Starting with the 2009 spree at Fort Hood by Maj. Nidal Hasan, there have been three in five years.
The hypocrisy is blatant in this case. Pro-gun fanatics are screaming in unison for guns on military bases because of the extremely rare mass shootings.  Yet, the rare nature of accidental child deaths is the very reason they object to safe storage laws. In fact, according to them, the 30,000+ gunshot deaths each year are rare in comparison to the number of gun owners, therefore no additional restrictions are required.

But now, military personnel need to be armed.

The USA Today article mentioned suicides. Of course the extremists insist that gun availability makes no difference in suicide rates.  And when that bizarre cop-out doesn't work, they say it's a person's right to kill themselves if they want to - it's a free person's right to decide.

But, I would think that reasonable people who are concerned with soldier suicides and who have no gun bias clouding their opinion, agree, allowing guns on state-side military bases would result in more suicides not less.

Southern Beale's Tennessee Gun Report - Guns Do More Harm than Good

A Nashville man came home from work to find a burglar inside his house. He detained the man until police arrived, and he didn’t even need a gun to do it. Amazing. NRA talking point FAIL.
Here’s the thing I don’t get with you gun loons: your only argument is, “I have a right to protect myself and my property,” ergo you need to keep your guns with you at all times and in all places. But you never explain why the only way you can protect yourself and your property is by killing someone. Stealing your flat-screen TV is not, at this juncture, a death penalty offense. And there are a whole bunch of ways that people can protect themselves without a firearm.
There are way too many tragedies because someone went off half-cocked and blew an innocent person away under the mistaken idea that they were protecting themselves. Thinking of Ronald WestbrookJohran McCormickCarl and Garrick Hopkins, this unnamed 14-year-old Colorado girl, and, of course, Trayvon Martin. The people who chose to use deadly force where it wasn’t warranted will have to live with their tragic mistake for the rest of their lives. You can’t bring dead people back.
At some point we’re going to have to decide what we value more: peoples’ lives or their property.

Washington State - Facts, Psuedo Facts and Initiative 594

I’m a progressive liberal, former lifetime member of the NRA. I have had a large gun collection and can put three rounds in the 10 ring of a B27 target at 25 yards with a Colt Government. I’ve assisted in teaching women’s self-defense courses and I have a lifelong love affair with firearms.
That said, I have been disenfranchised by the gun lobby because of its representations of falsehoods as facts and introduction of ridiculous arguments into the public discussion about gun ownership in America. A major concern by gun-control forces is the availability of any firearm to anyone who might use a gun irresponsibly, people including minors, criminals, mental patients, even foreigners.
A major contributing factor to irresponsible gun ownership is the gun show loophole, which allows anyone to come in off the street and purchase any weapon and amount of ammunition from a private seller’s table at a gun show without proof of identification, proof of American citizenship, or a background check of possible criminal convictions.
Make no mistake, I believe in free enterprise, but when free enterprise provides a means of harming law-abiding citizens through misuse or criminal use of a firearm it is no longer a question of free enterprise, it is a question of personal and civic responsibility.
Initiative 594 addresses this loophole by requiring that the sales of all firearms in the state of Washington receive the requisite background check to make it harder for criminals and their ilk to obtain firearms by adding a minor inconvenience to responsible gun ownership. After a lot of soul searching on my part, I find that Initiative 594 does not infringe on the Second Amendment and I support its passage in November.
As an aside, regarding the recent letters to the editor calling President Obama “our gun-ban president,” I am proud the Obama administration has enhanced and protected the rights of gun owners by signing the law overturning the ban on loaded firearms possession in national parks in 2010.
Enough of the mudslinging, name calling and pseudo facts.
Gary D’Agostino
Walla Walla

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The monster is real

The reality is that a gun in the home is more likely to kill a family member than an intruder. It was that type of finding that caused the freeze on gun violence research since it "may be used to advocate or promote gun control".

Of course, if you really believe that something which is a potential hazard to your family is somehow "the best method of self-defence", then you are quite welcome to it.

Collect your Darwin award.


Mass Stabbing in Pennsylvania - Zero Deaths

Accused attacker Alex Hribal, 16, is escorted from a district magistrate after he was arraigned as an adult on April 9. He faces four counts of attempted homicide, 21 counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a weapon on school grounds, according to a criminal complaint made public.


Wednesday's violent spree at the suburban Pittsburgh school ended with 20 students and one adult with stab wounds, according to police. Yet even as one doctor from Forbes Regional Hospital in nearby Monroeville described some of their injuries as life-threatening, another from the same facility said he expects all the victims to survive. 

The fact that their prognosis wasn't worse and the fact that there weren't more victims are tributes to an assemblage of people who made a difference in ways big and small. These people stepped up in the face of confusion and terror to help each other, doing everything from pulling a fire alarm to tenderly nursing victims' wounds, to subduing the alleged attacker, Alex Hribal, 16, to now rallying to provide comfort to their neighbors.

One of the laughable arguments often proffered by the gun-rights fanatics is that if guns were completely banned unstable people would commit just as many murders and do just as much damage with knives or baseball bats or any other killing instrument. It's not about the tool, they say, it's about the person.

Well, when Adam Lanza did his thing, 28 people ended up dead and only 2 wounded (I think that's right). Young Alex Hribal wasn't able to rack up such a satisfactory tally in his attempt at infamy. He wounded about 20 people and killed none.

Nebraska Man Dead - No Charges - It Was a Pure Accident

Justin Felty killed by his friend's negligence

 Local news reports

Justin Felty planned to go to a concert at the Bourbon Theatre and went to his best friend's apartment to hang out beforehand, said family friend Benjamin Cosier.
Former Northeast High School classmate Brannen Faulkner was showing Felty the handgun he had just purchased when he accidentally fired it in his apartment near 50th and R streets about 7:30 Friday evening, Lincoln police said. The shot hit Felty in the chest.
Justin Felty recently was discharged from the U.S. Army and was an artillery specialist at Fort Hood, his father said.
“He knew how to use a gun. That’s what makes this so hard.”
He said his son loved to tell jokes and spend time with his friends.
Justin Felty introduced his firearms hobby to Faulkner, 22, after he returned to Lincoln from the army, his dad said.
The two were like brothers, and Jeffrey Felty said his family has no ill feelings toward Faulkner.
“I’m not going to forgive him because there’s nothing to forgive,” he said. “It was a total accident.”
Faulkner bought the gun legally just hours before the accidental shooting and may not have known how to use it, police Capt. David Beggs said Friday evening

Pennsylvania Gun Club is the Scene of a Self-inflicted Accidental Shooting

Local news reports

A New Jersey man participating in a program at the Steel City Gun Club was injured today when he accidentally shot his own leg, according to Bethlehem police Deputy Chief Todd Repsher.

The man was at the Lower Saucon Township gun range as part of a program put on by the National Rifle Association and hosted in part by the Bethlehem Police Department, Repsher said. Medical crews were dispatched to the secluded gun range off of Riverside Drive at about 1:34 p.m., according to emergency dispatch reports.

Since the man was wounded at the event, Repsher said city police handled the incident and sent him to St. Luke's University Hospital in Fountain Hill for treatment. The injury, Repsher siad, was not life-threatening.

Several police and security agencies were taking part in the program, Repsher said, including two Bethlehem police officers. 

Florida Man Killed in an Accidental Shooting - Shooter Arrested

Austin Jones
Austin Jones the shooter

Fox News reports

A 20-year-old Longwood man has passed away from injuries suffered as a result of a possible accidental shooting, authorities say.

Seminole County deputies responded to Dunwoody Commons condominiums over the weekend in reference to a call reporting a shooting.  Once on scene, they found Christopher Negron with a gunshot wound to his head.

Austin Jones, 19, of Sanford, was arrested in connection to the shooting and charged with manslaughter. 

According to witnesses, Jones was showing a handgun to two friends. They indicated that Jones believed the gun was unloaded when he cocked it and pulled the trigger, causing the gun to fire a single bullet that struck Negron just above the eye.

Jones is currently being held at the John E. Polk correction facility on a no bond status.

Now, what was so hard about that?  Were his civil rights violated by such a swift arrest? Why was there no need for a lengthy investigation?

Tennessee Senate Approves Open Carry

The state Senate has passed a bill to allow Tennesseans to openly carry guns without a state-issued permit.
The chamber voted 25-2 in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet.
Beavers said the measure would keep the background checks and training requirements in order to carry concealed firearms, but would allow anyone legally allowed to own a gun to carry it openly.
The bill would also remove state restrictions on the location of ammunition when firearms are being transported in vehicles, and would allow guns to be removed from cars on school property for the purposes of moving storing them in another part of the vehicle.
The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the budget subcommittee of the House Finance Committee.
This is an example of the gun-rights fanatics shooting themselves in the foot.  Open carry is counter-productive to their cause.  Proponents say it'll make guns more commonplace and acceptable but it works in exactly the opposite way. People who don't own guns and even reasonable gun owners see open carriers as the extremists and fanatics that they are. Ironically, open carry helps the gun control movement.

Philadelphia Animal Rights Group Sued by Local Gun Club

Local news reports

An animal rights groups stalked, harassed and defamed members of the Philadelphia Gun Club - who occasionally use live pigeons as targets - and went so far as to glue dildoes outside the club, members claim in court.

     The shooters claim the defendants engaged in a "pattern of harassment, hounding, intimidation, trespass, invasion of privacy and intrusion" against members of the club, which has operated in Bucks County, Pa., since 1877.

     The gun club says it uses live pigeons supplied by "pest control companies" 10 to 12 times a year for members to shoot with shotguns loaded with bird shot.

     At least 20 times in the past two years, SHARK has set up camp at the club's driveway and blocked the road, filmed members coming and going, and got access to the property's security gate code and posted it on the Internet to "incite others to commit physical crimes against the PGC property," according to the lawsuit.

     SHARK members also glued "rubber facsimiles of male genitalia" outside the property, then filmed it and posted the movie on the Internet, according to the complaint.

     At least three times in 2013 and 2014, gun club members say, the animal rights group surrounded the property with loudspeakers and played recorded vulgar and profane messages for hours at high volume. They claims that SHARK members jotted down their license plates to try to learn their identities, followed them, created Internet posts identifying them, and posted inflammatory videos of them on the Internet.     

     SHARK said it has not even seen the lawsuit. On its website, however, the group takes credit for reducing membership in the gun club.

     "I am pleased to inform you that our relentless efforts against the notorious Philadelphia Gun Club have dramatically reduced the number of shooters attending their live pigeon shoots," an unsigned letter on the website states.

California Senator Yee Denies Gun-running Plot after FBI Sting

Inter Akyson

Chinatown gangsters, gun-smuggling, Muslim rebels in the Philippines and a shady character called "Shrimp Boy."

Oh, and envelopes full of cash from mobsters.

It may sound like the plot of a cable television mini-series, but FBI agents say it's the real tale of a California state senator willing to do nearly anything for campaign cash.

Appearing in a San Francisco federal courthouse on Tuesday, now-suspended senator Leland Yee pleaded not guilty to bribery and gun-running charges that could land him behind bars for life.

Yee is the highest-profile of 29 defendants ensnared in an FBI sting that initially targeted the gang underworld of San Francisco's Chinatown before taking a surprising detour into political corruption.

In addition to being accused of accepting cash for political favors, Yee -- a Democrat and a gun-control advocate -- is charged with plotting to smuggle guns from the Philippines.

A 137-page arrest warrant affidavit portrays Yee as desperate to pay down campaign debt.

That desperation allegedly led him to approach a man he believed to be a mafia member -- actually an undercover FBI agent -- with a surprising proposal: He could get the mobster guns from overseas.

At first Yee said the weapons would probably come from Russia, though he noted "the Muslim countries" were also a possible source, according to the FBI.

"Do I think we can make some money? I think we can make some money," he is quoted as telling the fake mafioso over coffee. "Do I think we can get the goods? I think we can get the goods."

Do I think he's dirty.  I think he's dirty.

But what I object to is the hypocritical pro-gun folks who adamantly defend gun misuse when committed by one of their own but were jubilant in condemning Senator Yee from the very moment the story broke. For this guy, there was no "innocent until proven guilty."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Archie to be a victim of gun violence

The US has a gun problem.  You can put your head up your ass and deny it in all sorts of ways: but it has a gun violence problem.

The pro-gun side has blocked gun violence research since the results of that research " may be used to advocate or promote gun control". Let's not forget all the rest of the disinformation put out by the "pro-gun side".

The pro-gun crowd fears people taking matters into their own hands with property owners banning guns on their properties and businesses.  They don't want people using their first amendment rights to thwart their non-existant and fictitious "Second Amendment Right" (On the other hand, if you want to join the National Guard--go for it: that is your Second Amendment right if you REALLY want to exercise it).

On the other hand, Comics have been subversive and have had an impact on gun laws.  For example, the Batman Comic: Seduction of the Gun was supposed to have shamed the Virginia Legislature into adopting the one gun a month bill.  The issue had been a created since a  DC Comics executive's son was shot to death at a New York City pay phone.

The reality is that everyone in the United States is effected by gun violence whether they consciously realise it or not.  Embracing the object which terrorises them is not a sign of "freedom"--it is a sign that they have been enslaved by their fear.

Anyway, will something like a comic book character such as Archie, who is the symbol of American innocence, being shot be the wake up call which brings the debate about guns in American society to a crashing reality?   Archie is the 1950s vision of the US which the right wants to somehow "bring back", yet he has fallen victim to their sick politics and distorted nostalgia.  The only people who carried guns in the 1950s were cops or criminals with very few people feeling the "need" to carry.  It was not seen as some sort of symbolic gesture that it has become in recent years.

Archie will die.  Archie will die by someone shooting him.

America's innocence will die with him.

Unlike other acts of gun violence, this one is fictional and we know about it in advance.  Let the furore commence.

The bottom line is that people have been using every trick in the book to not address this problem: from claiming that the Second Amendment somehow had nothing to do with a "well-regulated militia" to providing fake data to somehow prove that guns benefit society.

Maybe this will shock them into sense.

Alan Gottleib, King of the Pro-Gun Liars

Somewhere, everyday in the USA, 2100+ people use a gun for self defense, to stop a crime or save the lives of themselves or their family.
“We believe that the American public deserve to understand that on the average, guns save 2,191 lives and are used to thwart crimes every day,” says Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation
Most times you won’t see these tales on the news as it does not fit the main stream media’s story line of “Guns and Gun Owners are Bad“.
At least the Ammoland folks said "or save the lives."  Gottlieb shamelessly says every single DGU prevents a death. And this is to say nothing about the bizarre exaggerated number.

Road Rage Incident

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Too bad Torres didn't have a gun of his own. That's the pro-gun take on it, right?

Florida Senator John Legg, R-Trinity, the Only Republican to Oppose the Warning Shot Bill Tells Why

Local news reports

Sen. Legg
John Legg, R-Trinity, did something quite rare last week.The 38-year-old Republican actually opposed a bill that had heavy NRA backing.
Legg’s nay vote was the only Republican vote against HB 89, the so-called “warning shot” bill, which sailed through both chambers and is currently awaiting the signature of Gov. Rick Scott.
Why did Legg vote against a bill that all of the other 97 Republican lawmakers voted for, as did 27 Democrats?
“The bill creates more problems than it solves,” Legg said. “When you fire warning shots, bad things happen.”
That’s not a lawmaker who is critical of guns talking. The NRA gave him an A+ rating, after all.
Legg’s reservations on the bill came from his experience growing up in West Virginia and Florida, where his dad taught him how to shoot.
He said the bill violated one of his dad's core principles.
“When you shoot a gun, you shoot to hit the target," Legg said. "You don’t shoot to miss.”

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Who Shot the Sign?


1. drug dealers
2. gang members
3. lawful gun owners

Two Very Simple Points about Gun Free Zones

1. The more places we allow guns, the more places we're going to see shootings - the kind that are done by law abiding gun owners who suddenly stop being law abiding. These would far outweigh the relatively rare mass shootings we now have at gun-free locations.

2. Contrary to the popular pro-gun lie, mass shooters do not seek out gun-free zones for the target-rich environment. Almost every single one of these guys simply goes to the place of their grievance.

Libertarian Juan Williams Calls Out the Fox Commentators for Saying Gun Availability Has Nothing To Do With It

The Ridiculous Claim that Concealed Carry in Chicago is Responsible for the Drop in Murders


Late last week some actual good news about violent crime came out of the great city of Chicago: the homicide rate for the first three months of the year fell to the lowest level of any first quarter since 1958. There were six fewer homicides than in the first quarter of 2013, and 55 fewer than the same period of 2012. What accounts for this significant drop? Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy cited more intelligent police training and activities, more community programs keeping kids off the streets, and the seizure of 1,300 illegal guns since the beginning of the year. Some blog commenters we saw attributed it partly to the face-melting Chicago winter being even more face-meltingly brutal than normal. But America’s gun-fondling wingnuts know the real reason: Illinois passed a concealed-carry law last summer and now Johnny Thug will think twice about messing with potentially armed, freedom-defending citizens!

“Illinois Gets Concealed Carry, Chicago’s Murder Total Plummets Immediately” trumpeted the Second Amendment fetishists at Bearing Arms. “Chicago Enacts Concealed Carry; Murder Rate Promptly Falls to 1958 Level” enthused the rabid ferrets of Townhall. “Can We Credit the New Conceal Carry Law in Chicago for Reduced Homicide Rate?” asked Pajamas Media’s aptly named Rick Moran before he cited a whole bunch of reasons why the CCW law probably didn’t deserve credit, but finished up by telling his readers not to discount it. Good save, Moran! On Twitter, some of our favorites, like Ol’ Perfesser Instapundit and Dana Loesch, were uncritically citing some of these stories as if they are gospel truth.

But then here are some facts that one had to go beyond the headlines to note. For one, this was the sixth consecutive quarter in which violent crime in Chicago has dropped, which means the trend started well before the Illinois legislature passed concealed carry. For another, the city of Chicago did not start handing out concealed carry permits until the end of February (and already yanked one idiot’s permit because he thought having a concealed carry permit meant he could wave his gun at anyone he was arguing with). Chicagoans have been legally packing heat for one month during an eighteen-month downward trend in the overall crime rate, so of course the wingnuts are interpreting it as, “We’ve got the thugs and gun grabbers on the run!”

I think the extreme weather had more to do with it than anything else.

Philadelphia 2-Year-old Kills his 11-Year-old Sister - No Immediate Charges - Gun Owner Not Arrested

Jamara Stevens was fatally shot Saturday morning with a gun that police believe was brought into the home by the mother’s boyfriend a few hours earlier.

The mother was home with her four children in a master bedroom, Lt. John Walker said. Police say the shooting occurred when she left the room at about 10 a.m. to use the bathroom.

The 2-year-old pointed the loaded, cocked gun in the direction of his sister and the gun discharged, according to investigators.

The fatal bullet struck Jamara’s shoulder and then traveled to her chest. Jamara was rushed to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, but died about a half-hour later, police said.

Police believe the mother’s boyfriend had brought the gun to the house and stashed it on top of a refrigerator. It’s not immediately clear who brought it to the bedroom.

Homicide detectives are investigating and will forward information to the district attorney’s office, police said. No charges have been filed.

The Fear-mongering of the Gun-Rights Movement

Because I am a gun owner and hunter, I am sometimes asked for advice by someone wanting to purchase a gun, usually for home defense.
Although I do not have a concealed carry permit, occasionally I am asked if I can recommend a handgun that would be good for concealed carry, sometimes for a wife. When the question is from an elderly person or someone who is not familiar with guns, I get concerned. Some of these folks haven’t handled any type of gun in decades, if ever.
Although I usually suggest several reliable handgun models for concealed carry, or perhaps a shotgun for home defense, my advice to most of these folks is that they should not purchase a gun. For the price of some handguns, they can purchase a home security system that would be safer and provide more security than having a gun. If they want to carry protection in their car or on their person, I recommend pepper spray.
My advice also includes a warning that if they have a gun, a bad guy “just might take it away and shoot you with it.” It takes a lot of training and practice to effectively handle a handgun, particularly in a tense situation.
These inquiries make me wonder what folks are reading or listening to that causes them to have so much fear. Why, after decades without owning a gun, do they want to buy a gun, and in some cases want to have a concealed carry permit? Could it be that they have been influenced by the crazy conspiracy theories that they read about or hear from some radio and TV commentators?
Of course, guys like Kurt, and any number of other gun-rights preachers, who spread that fear-mongering far and wide, deny any responsibility for the results. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pasadena Texas Mayor Drops Gun in a No-Guns-Allowed City Council Meeting

First Chicago Concealed Carry DGU

A 53-year-old South Austin man with a valid concealed carry permit was able to shoot at two men who tried to accost him outside of his home early this morning.
The incident happened about 2:40 a.m. on the 5400 block of West Van Buren Street, said Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Michael Sullivan.
The man was walking from his garage to the front of his home when two males in hoodies appeared in a gangway between his home and the neighbor's home, Sullivan said.
One of the two men pulled a handgun from his waistband and pointed at the man who took out his own gun and managed to fire several times at the males, Sullivan said.
The males fled the area without being struck and the shooting did not result in any property damage, police said.
After the shooting, police responded and determined that the man was shooting in self-defense. The man had a valid firearm owner's identification card, a valid concealed carry permit and police were able to determine that he had completed a required concealed carry class and was properly trained, Sullivan said.
The man is not facing charges as police search for the two males, described as a tall male and a short male. Those two face charges.
By my count, that's one good one and one bad one - so far.

Armed Guards at Every School

Ivan Lopez Had a Grievance - He Was Unconcerned about the Gun-Free Status of the Base

Wednesday's mass shooting at Fort Hood, in which Spc. Ivan Lopez killed three soldiers and wounded 16 more before turning the gun on himself, may have been caused by an argument over leave forms.
Wednesday's mass shooting at Fort Hood, in which Spc. Ivan Lopez killed three soldiers and wounded 16 more before turning the gun on himself, may have been caused by an argument over leave forms.
New York Times article quotes an anonymous "law enforcement official" who said Lopez requested leave for "family matters," and was angry when the request was denied. The father of a solider wounded in the attack told WLBT that Lopez came to a personnel office to get a leave form, but was told to come back the next day. Instead, Lopez came back with a gun and opened fire.
Lopez's own family believes he was distraught over the recent deaths of his grandfather and mother, while a friend said Lopez was angry that he was only given a 24 hour leave to attend his mother's funeral.
Lopez was being treated for mental health issues including anxiety and depression, but Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley said Friday that investigators do not believe they were a direct cause of the attack. 

Georgia 15-Year-old Shoots and Kills 10-Year-old - It Was Just an Accident - No Charges - No Sign of the Parents

Local news reports

Whiny Crybaby Gun Nuts Pretend to Not Understand Why People Magazine Rejected their Photo

WECT, weather 

Maybe the People Magazine judges are gun nuts too and objected to her finger on the trigger.

Kansas Sweeping Gun Bill Passes the Senate

-( This week, the Kansas Senate passed Senate Bill 447 by a 34-2 vote.  Following its passage, SB 447 was integrated into House Bill 2578 (previously reported on here) in a conference committee and passed again.
The integrated version of HB 2578 received a 4-2 vote in the conference committee, which becomes an “Agree to Disagree.”  Both the Senate and House concurred on the motion to Agree to Disagree this afternoon.  After a second conference committee tonight, the integrated version of HB 2578 will now be returned to both the House and Senate for a final action concurrence vote.  Your NRA fully supports this comprehensive legislation and anticipates that it will be brought up for a concurrence vote in both legislative chambers as early as tomorrow.
The new version of HB 2578 will include:Your NRA fully supports this comprehensive legislation and anticipates that it will be brought up for a concurrence vote in both legislative chambers as early as tomorrow.
  • An expansion of Kansas’ firearms preemption provisions to open carry and will prohibit municipalities from implementing local ordinances relating to the transportation of firearms.  Whether you choose to carry concealed, open carry or carry a knife for self-defense, this bill would eliminate the complex patchwork of gun laws that arise from local regulations.
  • A ban on the use of taxpayer funds for gun “buyback” programs.  These programs are a waste of taxpayer dollars and have no proven impact on crime reduction. This bill would prohibit seized firearms not used in the commission of a felony from being destroyed by law enforcement agencies.  These firearms, so long as they are in operable condition, would either be sold to a licensed gun dealer (FFL) or donated to hunter education programs.  In addition, it would also mandate that if a firearm has been seized by law enforcement and the owner is acquitted of the charges or the charges are dropped, the firearm must be returned to the owner within thirty days.
  • A prohibition on county, city or municipal employers from maintaining a database of employee permit holders, ensuring confidentiality.
  • A “shall certify” requirement that a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) sign off on an application to transfer an item regulated by the National Firearms Act, including short barreled rifles/shotguns and suppressors, within fifteen days, as long as the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the item.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

NRA Accepts Bob Costas’s Gun Wager

Bob Costas, famed sports announcer.
Bob Costas, famed sports announcer.

Gun dot com reported that the NRA is willing to accept Bob Costa's wager.  NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox translates the terms of the bet from athletes to civilians at large and to make his point uses the extremely faulty CDC report that came out after Newtown.  In it, DGU estimates start with 500,000 per year.  This is incredibly deceptive - even our daily commenter Greg Camp is more honest and accurate than that.

But, DGU estimates are, after all, estimates.  Where they really go off the rails is in saying that in 2008 there were 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms. This is something that can be fact-checked using FBI hard numbers.

Is it possible that Chris Cox and his people didn't do that fact checking? Or was it purposely deceptive to talk about DGU estimates of half-a-million a year and up, as well as low-balling the 2008 numbers of violent crimes committed with firearms by 25% (or whatever the difference really is - TS can tell us).
Putting the ratings matter aside, and speaking to the statistical point Cox is making, the CDC put out a study in 2013, commissioned by the president in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that found that firearms are much more likely to be used in a defensive manner rather than for criminal or violent activity.
“Defensive uses of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008,” stated the study.


murders with firearms in 2008 = 9,528

Aggravated assaults in 2008 = 843,683 of which 21% = Aggravated Assaults with firearm = 177,173
Robberies in 2008 = 443, 563 of which 41% = robberies with firearms = 181,860
Forcible rape ion 2008 = 90,750 but for some reason it's not known how many were at gun point.

The total for murders, robberies and assaults committed with guns is 368,561.

Figuring that some of the 90,000 rapes in 2008 were done at gun point, we have about 400,000 violent crimes committed with guns, not 300,000.

Another problem with the NRA argument is what we always run into when re-hashing the DGU thing. Those estimates of DGUs, even the lower ones which were conveniently omitted in this article, include things like brandishings and shooting at animals. In order to make a fair comparison, you can't compare that number to ONLY violent crimes committed with guns, you'd have to compare the DGUs to gun crimes NOT limited to murder, robbery, assault and rape.  We'd have to include the lesser offenses too, illegal brandishings, domestic abuse involving guns that doesn't rise to the level of aggravated assault, lost and dropped guns.  In order to be really fair, we'd have to ESTIMATE how many illegal and improper uses of guns take place every year. 

In other words, when counting DGUs, the gun nuts are all inclusive.  But when counting gun crimes for comparison purposes, they have very specific criteria.

This brings us to a familiar question.  If the gun-rights movement truly had right on its side, why would it continually resort to such underhanded trickery when making its point?