Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quote of the day:

The thing is, shameless lying and ignorance works surprisingly well as a debate tactic. It’s hard to argue with someone who not only has signaled that he doesn’t care what the truth is but is downright proud of how little he actually knows. Such a person is not amenable to being educated. Once the pretense of really caring one way or another about what is right and what is wrong has been abandoned, all avenue of discourse is shut down.

Simple question

The problem with the gun control, or whatever the fuck you want to call the act of regulating firearms, has become so bogged down in bullshit.

But, it really boils down to a simple question:
Do you want people who will misuse firearms to have access to them?

This is a simple yes or no question without room for hemming and hawing about "how good guns are" blahblahblahblahblah

Do you want a criminal to have access to a firearm?
Do you want someone who will use the gun for an illegal act (murder, robbery, etc.) to have access to a firearm?

Yes or no?

No shades of grey that "this inconveniences law abiding citizens" because law abiding citizens are even more inconvenienced when disqualified persons have access to a firearm.

And there is no "right" for disqualified persons to have a gun unless you are on the side that people who will misuse them should have access to them and let society be damned.

Someone said that people on the gun rights side are intelligent.  Maybe they are.  But, intelligence is different from ignorance as I often point out.  In fact, they are so intelligent that they can argue that black is white.

That is why this is a simple yes or no question: not an essay question.  I don't want to hear how society benefits from people who shouldn't have guns having them.

If deep in your heart you answered "yes", then you are for gun control: whether you believe in it or not.

This is a major point that a lot of responsible gun owners and firearm reform advocates should be able to agree on. Some of the more militant of the so-called "gun rights" activists completely fail to see (or acknowledge) that one of the issues can be boiled down to "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." There is no rational argument against this simple concept:  don't let the bad guy have a gun in the first place.

S.E. Cupp Uses NRA Media Myth To Find Danger In Clinton's Opposition To Assault Weapons

Media Matters

CNN host S.E. Cupp baselessly suggested that Hillary Clinton's support for a ban on assault weapons is bad politics by promoting the myth that the 1994 Republican takeover of the House of Representatives was fueled by the passage of an assault weapons ban that year.

In fact, political scientists say tax increases and a fight over healthcare reform better explain the Republican takeover. But conservative pundits often incorporate the 1994 assault weapons ban into the media myth that it is politically unwise for politicians to support gun reform and that the National Rifle Association has the ability to use the gun issue to determine election outcomes.

During a June 17 town hall forum on CNN, Clinton expressed support for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, as well as expanded background checks on gun sales. On the gun debate, Clinton added, "we need a more thoughtful conversation, we cannot let a minority of people ... hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people."

Appearing on CNN's The Situation Room after the town hall discussion, Cupp suggested political danger in Clinton's position, stating, "Democrats really suffered, and Hillary Clinton knows this, Democrats really suffered the last time they enacted an assault weapon ban. There were a lot of Democrats who were thrown out of office the last time that passed."
In a January 17, 2013, US News article headlined "Gun Control Laws Weren't Primary Reason Dems Lost in 1994" political scientists and 1994 election experts Philip Klinkner and Gary Jacobson are quoted arguing that assault weapons ban legislation was only one of several controversial votes leading up to the midterm elections but that a "mythology" was formed around the gun vote. Klinkner and Jacobson instead pinned the electoral success of the Republican Party on the failure of health care reform and tax increases:
While the '94 election proved Americans wanted Democrats out of congressional power (more than 50 Democratic seats were lost), it's less clear if the weapons ban, or any one issue, was the primary reason for their loss.
"This is a mythology that has developed," says Philip Klinkner, who edited a book about the '94 elections. "That narrative stretches things way too far."
The truth, political scientists say, is that it can be attributed to a combination of factors, and the "assault weapons" ban was just one of several controversial votes that led to the loss.
With Democrats in charge of the House, Senate and White House, the 103rd Congress tackled a long, progressive wish list. The White House pressured legislators to take on healthcare reform (unsuccessfully), pass the North American Free Trade Agreement and raise taxes through a deficit reduction act, which was fraught with political land mines for congressional Democrats. None of the policies helped earn legislators points back home among their more conservative constituents.
"The vote for gun control mattered, but the vote for the tax increase and healthcare were more important," says Gary Jacobson, who has done a statistical analysis of what votes affected the outcome of the 1994 election.

Homemade Gun Factory Shut Down in Sydney

The Daily Mail reports

A well-established homemade gun factory discovered by police in Sydney had been running for several months producing weapons with the potential to explode in the hands of users.

Police uncovered the facility during a raid on Tuesday at Casula in the southwestern suburbs.

Officers located tools, machinery and containers full of metal shapes, consistent with the making of firearms.

Acting Assistant Commissioner John Kerlatec said home-based gun manufacturing increased the potential for firearms to end up on the streets.

"Secondly these guns are not made with high-grade steel or by any standard of manufacturing qualities," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"They could potentially explode in the hand of the user which we have seen and demonstrated in our own laboratories.

"Importantly these guns are designed to kill and they will injure or maim someone in the wrong hands."

Try to make this simple for stupid people to try to understand.

One thing that makes the US great is Article III, Section iii of the US Constitution which says:
"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."
The Constitution also says:
"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."
Which means anything like founding father quotes and the Declaration of Independence (and other historical documents) ARE NOT legally binding.

So, you assholes need to live by the document you claim to believe in  or get a brain.

The Second Amendment does not explicitly repeal Article III, Section iii no matter how much your diseased minds might want it to, which means that you have to live by consitutional process, or work to change it through the system as provided in the constitution.

And if you took an oath to defend the nation or enforce the laws: guess what?

You have to do that job whether you agree with the law or nor.

If you are given a lawful order you must obey it, and you are not the final arbiter of what a lawful order is since I doubt you have the intelligence to know what the law is if you belong to an organisation as fucked up as the oath breakers.

So, before you start doing silly shit--you might want to get a handle on what exactly the Constitution says and how it works.

Although, that is probably too late for you and you are already doing some seriously fucked up shit.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Phoenix Priest Killed With Gun Owned by Colleague


A homeless ex-convict is being held on $1 million bond, accused of beating a priest with a metal rod in his residence at a Phoenix church and then wrestling away a handgun owned by the clergyman before fatally shooting the man's assistant.
Gary Michael Moran, 54, was arrested Sunday night on suspicion of first-degree murder, burglary, and armed robbery, among other charges, police announced Monday.
Authorities said Moran, an ex-convict with a history of violence and drug abuse, stole a camera from the priests and fled in Walker's car, which was found abandoned a few blocks away from the church last Wednesday night.
The attack occurred after the Rev. Joseph Terra opened the kitchen door of the Mother of Mercy Mission rectory to investigate noises in a courtyard on Wednesday night, police said.
Badly injured, the 56-year-old Terra made it to his bedroom and retrieved his .357-caliber gun but was unable to fire before the attacker grabbed it, forced the priest to his knees and demanded money, according to court records.
Terra soon blacked out. When he regained consciousness, the Rev. Kenneth Walker had been shot.
Walker, 28, died later that night.
You see how that happens? Fearful, gullible people, like Father Terra, believe all that nonsense about keeping a gun for protection. The sad truth is guns do more harm than good.

Guns Kill Children


Children from states where firearms are prevalent suffer from significantly higher rates of homicide, even after accounting for poverty, education, and urbanization. A study focusing on youth in North Carolina found that most of these deaths were caused by legally purchased handguns. A recent meta-analysis revealed that easy access to firearms doubled the risk of homicide and tripled the risk for suicide among all household members. Family violence is also much more likely to be lethal in homes where a firearm is present, placing children especially in danger. Murder-suicides are another major risk to children and are most likely to be committed with a gun.
Crucially, these deaths are not offset by defensive gun use. As one study found, for every time a gun is used legally in self-defense at home, there are “four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.” A study of adolescents in California found that there were 13 times as many threatening as self-defensive uses of guns. Of the defensive encounters, many arose in confrontations that became hostile because of the presence of a firearm.
In the overall suicide rate, the United States ranks roughly in the middle of the pack among industrialized nations. However, we are the exception when it comes to suicides among children between the ages of 5 and 14, with an overall rate twice the average of other developed nations. This stark difference is driven almost exclusively by a firearm-related suicide rate that is 10 times the average of other industrialized nations.

New Dad Killed By Stray Bullet While Celebrating Baby's Homecoming

Charles Edward Shislerr

Huffington Post

A new father was shot and killed Tuesday night by what officials believewas an accidental shooting by a neighbor.
Steven Justin Ayers, 33, and his wife, Jessica Ayers, were celebrating the homecoming of their 3-day-old baby with family members in their home in Panama City, Florida, The News Herald reports. Around 6 p.m., a bullet hit Ayers in the back of the head. He died on the spot.
Deputies believe the bullet came from a handgun fired by 62-year-old Charles Edward Shislerr whose home is directly behind Ayers', according to the Jackson County Floridian.
Shisler allegedly told deputies that he fired the gun accidentally while trying to pick it up by the trigger.
“The damn gun doesn’t usually shoot," he said, according to an arrest report obtained by The News-Herald. “You have to squeeze the hell out of the trigger to shoot it.”
He was charged with manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to WMBB. His felon status stems from a 2006 conviction for carrying a concealed firearm.
A fascinating case, which prompts several questions.  One, what happened to his face? Two, who picks a gun up by the trigger?  How can you even do that? And three, was carrying a concealed weapon without a license a felony?
Of course, the other question which applies to all the cases in which a prohibited person misbehaves with a gun is, where did he get it?  Who was the last lawful owner of that particular gun and how did he lose possession of it?

This is my weapon......this is my.............well, it USED to be....

an actual penile gun shot photo -- not this one though

From TPM:

Georgia Man Later Discovers He Shot Himself In Penis While Holstering Gun

He then when to a friend's house, where he discovered he "shot himself in the penis and that the bullet exited out of his buttocks," according to WMAZ.
Just sayin' --- when I see some jerk out parading around with his fetish object gun, I think of this guy and all those like him who are not safe, who are not secure gun carriers, and who lack both physical dexterity and most of all, good judgement sufficient safely to be armed with a lethal weapon for no good reason. Just because they wannah is not a sufficiently good reason

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Guess it isn't so inanimate after all.

Seriously, they aren't dangerous? You mind if I point a loaded one at you?

You do?

Anyway, in the usual "I left my gun alone and..." situation, someone decided to do a little home gunsmithing and put on a new trigger for his Rebel Arms AR-15, when he fell asleep at the computer with the gun on his lap after installing it on the gun. Next thing, he woke up when the rifle discharged.

The pearl:

"he did not realize the gun was loaded"

Yes, indeedy.

His neighbours told police they were awoken by a loud noise and saw a hole in the bedroom wall that is adjacent to the shooter's apartment.  They also reported damage to the ceiling and another hole above the light switch on the opposite wall, records indicate. Two children, ages 1 and 2, were sleeping in the neighbours' apartment.  Not to mention, the bullet entered the bedroom above the mattress where the neighbours were sleeping, according to records.

Shooter was charged with aggravated assault, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure and recklessly endangering another person. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

I feel so safe knowing you have guns:  especially since incidents like this are far more common than DGUs.

See also:

Bill Maher on the Tea Partiers misconception of the founding fathers.

OK, Bill Maher isn't a super scholar, but he does have it right here.   The founders were not "American Idiots".  In fact, from what I know about them, they would find someone like Sarah Plain to be an embarrassment.

Cenk on John McCain and the Other War Hawks

Gun Range Suicide with a Rented Gun in Vacaville CA

Local news reports

Approximately 30 minutes before police were called, the man reportedly came to the businesswhere he rented a .45-caliber handgun. According to Lydon, the man provided the employee with identification in order to use the gun. He shot an unknown number of rounds before ultimately turning the gun on himself.
When he failed to return from the shooting range, employees tried to contact him through the businesses overhead paging system but received no response, Lydon said.
The employees then went down to the range where they opened the closed doors and found the man.
Based on the report of the injury relayed to police, officers were able to respond with a medic, who determined that the man had succumbed to his injury.
A green sign was place on the door leading down to the range, stating that it was closed for the day.

Where Gun Stores Outnumber Museums and Libraries

from ssgmarkcr

I came across this interesting article that also has, what I think is a pretty cool interactive map.  My only complaint is that the map is a bit small.  But I discovered that my home, which is in Morrison County MN comes out with slight lead in gun dealers.  It would have been more fair to include ranges too, but it would have been a challenge considering it could be quite a job to find the data.

    I don't really have anything deep or contemplative to say about this article other than its an interesting way to look at things.  Thought I'd offer it up to the masses here to share.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Judge Richard Posner on Scalia's dismissal of the first clause in the Heller decision

It's nice when the leading CONSERVATIVE jurist backs up my opinion.
Similarly, the book’s defense of the Heller decision fails to mention that most professional historians reject the historical analysis in Scalia’s opinion. Reading Law quotes approvingly Joseph Story’s analysis of preambles“the preamble of a statute is a key to open the mind of the makers, as to the mischiefs, which are to be remedied, and the objects, which are to be accomplished by the provisions of the statute”but fails to apply the analysis to the preamble of the Second Amendment, which reads: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State.” The preamble implies that the Second Amendment (which creates a right “to keep and bear arms”) is not about personal self-defense, but about forbidding the federal government to disarm state militias. Contra Story, Justice Scalia treated the preamble dismissively in his opinion in Heller.
Actually, the proeme should act as a built in sunset clause.  It states the purpose for which the law was written, and once that purpose is no longer necessary: neither is the law.

In other words, those who would ask that we ignore it are tacitly admitting that the Second Amendment has no place in 21st Century America.

And if we are going to get into it, Aymette v State, 2 Humphreys 154 (Tenn. 1840), also contradicts what Scalia claims, which is " Those who believe that the Second Amendment preserves only a militia-centered right place great reliance on the Tennessee Supreme Court’s 1840 decision in Aymette v. State, 21 Tenn. 154. The case does not stand for that broad proposition; in fact, the case does not mention the word “militia” at all, except in its quoting of the Second Amendment . Aymette held that the state constitutional guarantee of the right to “bear” arms did not prohibit the banning of concealed weapons.":
 We think there is a manifest distinction.  In the nature of things, if they were not allowed to bear arms openly, they could not bear them in their defence of the state at all.  To bear arms in defence of the state is to employ them in war, as arms are usually employed by civilized nations.  The arms, consisting of swords, muskets, rifles, etc., must necessarily be borne openly; so that a prohibition to bear them openly would be a denial of the right altogether.  And, as in their constitution the right to bear arms in defence of themselves is coupled with the right to bear them in defence of the state, we must understand the expressions as meaning the same thing, and as relating to public, and not private, to the common, and not the individual, defence...
 ...To make this view of the case still more clear, we may remark that the phrase, "bear arms," is used in the Kentucky constitution as well as in our own, and implies, as has already been suggested, their military use. The 28th section of our bill of rights provides "that no citizen of this state shall be compelled to bear arms provided he will pay in equivalent, to be ascertained by law." Here we know that the phrase has a military sense, and no other; and we must infer that it is used in the same sense in the 26th section, which secures to the citizen the right to bear arms.  A man in the pursuit of deer, elk, and buffaloes might carry his rifle every day for forty years, and yet it would never be said of him that he had borne arms; much less could it be said that a private citizen bears arms because he has a dirk or pistol concealed under his clothes, or a spear in a cane.  So that, with deference, we think the argument of the court in the case referred to, even upon the question it has debated, is defective and inconclusive.
If the authorities are not helpful to his argument, it is because they contradict that argument.

Or did Scalia not bother actually reading Aymette and hope that no one else would and call him on it?

As is the case with most "pro-gun" arguments, Scalia's opinion in the Heller case does not withstand close scrutiny.

Indiana Concealed Carry Permit Holder Gets Arrested in WalMart

Opposing Views reports

Kenneth Pirtle was charged with criminal recklessness with a firearm after his handgun accidentally fired inside a Walmart in Jasper, Ind., on Sunday morning.

Pirtle, 65, was in a check-out line when he reached into his pocket and accidentally discharged his .40 caliber handgun.
The bullet shot through Pirtle's pants leg, hit the floor and then ricocheted into a wall, according to police.
Pirtle suffered minor injuries to his leg, but he refused treatment for reasons unknown.
Fortunately, there were no other injuries.
Police believe that other objects in Pirtle’s pocket might have helped cause the accidental shooting.
The incident is still being investigated.
Now, what's so hard about that?  The dangerous gun owner was arrested and the investigation continues.

Ohio Concealed Weapons Holder Accidentally Shoots Self, Driver

Local news reports

A concealed carry permit holder accidentally shot himself and another man while sitting in the passenger seat of a car on the city's East Side, Cleveland police said.

The shooting happened about 7 p.m. Sunday near East 103rd Street and Pierpont Avenue.
The bullet ripped through the gun owner's hand before it passed through the driver's right leg and lodged in his left leg, police said.

Emergency medical crews drove the men to hospitals, according to spokesman Sgt. Ali Pillow.

Officers learned the man handling the weapon has a CCW permit, Pillow said. Investigators confiscated the gun.

I'll bet he gets his gun back with a stiff warning to be more careful in the future.  What do you think?

Joseph Houseman, 'Open Carry' Advocate, Gets His Rifle Back After Tense Police Standoff

Huffington Post

Hillary Clinton On Gun Control: We Can't Let 'A Minority Of People' Terrorize The Majority

Huffington Post

Do you really love your family and want to protect them?

Then, get rid of your guns.

Seriously,  they are more of a danger to your family.  But, that isn't what you want to hear, or what the people who control your thinking want you to hear.

After all, remember the study that caused your lot to want to stop all the gun violence research?

Arthur Kellerman and colleagues, “Gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide in the home”

And things haven't been going too well for the "gun in the home makes you safer" side as their studies are discredited while the peer researched studies pile up showing that you put your families at risk by bringing a gun into the home, as this article in Slate points out.
The overwhelming empirical evidence indicates that the presence of a gun makes children less safe; that programs such as Eddie Eagle are insufficient; and that measures the NRA and extreme gun advocates vehemently oppose, such as gun safes and smart guns, could dramatically reduce the death toll. Study after study unequivocally demonstrates that the prevalence of firearms directly increases the risk of youth homicide, suicide, and unintentional death. This effect is consistent across the United States and throughout the world. As a country, we should be judged by how well we protect our children. By any measure, we are failing horribly.

The United States accounts for nearly 75 percent of all children murdered in the developed world. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 in the United States are 17 times more likely to be murdered by firearms than children in other industrialized nations.
Children from states where firearms are prevalent suffer from significantly higher rates of homicide, even after accounting for poverty, education, and urbanization. A study focusing on youth in North Carolina found that most of these deaths were caused by legally purchased handguns. A recent meta-analysis revealed that easy access to firearms doubled the risk of homicide and tripled the risk for suicide among all household members. Family violence is also much more likely to be lethal in homes where a firearm is present, placing children especially in danger. Murder-suicides are another major risk to children and are most likely to be committed with a gun.

Crucially, these deaths are not offset by defensive gun use. As one study found, for every time a gun is used legally in self-defense at home, there are “four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.” A study of adolescents in California found that there were 13 times as many threatening as self-defensive uses of guns. Of the defensive encounters, many arose in confrontations that became hostile because of the presence of a firearm.
Hey, you can believe what you want since you lot tend to be "fact adverse".

But the even scarier thing is this:
As a report from the New York Times revealed, accidental killings are significantly underreported in the official data, often being classified as homicides or suicides rather than accidents. In several states there were twice as many accidental gun deaths than the official record indicated.

It seems that having a gun isn't going to make your home safer: in fact, you are making it more likely that there will be a serious or fatal injury.

It's your choice if you want to be ignorant, but I know you will choose ignorance everytime.

It's what your masters want you to do--and you mindlessly do or believe what your masters tell you to do.

And try to show me how smart you are by doing that.

You wonder WHY I don't listen to you?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More info on the Straw Purchase SCOTUS decision


The 5-4 decision upheld two lower courts that had ruled against so-called straw purchasers, even though the justices acknowledged that Congress left loopholes in gun control laws passed in the 1960s and 1990s.

For gun purchasers to be allowed to buy from licensed dealers without reporting the actual final owners of the firearms, the justices said, would make little sense.

"Putting true numbskulls to one side, anyone purchasing a gun for criminal purposes would avoid leaving a paper trail by the simple expedient of hiring a straw," Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the slim majority.

"No piece of information is more important under federal firearms law than the identity of a gun's purchaser — the person who acquires a gun as a result of a transaction with a licensed dealer," Kagan said.

During oral arguments in the case in January, she had noted that without such a finding, "it does not matter whether the ultimate transferee was Al Capone or somebody else."

Gun control advocates were delighted with the decision. "This is a very big and very positive decision that will save lives by keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people," said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
It was the second ruling from the conservative court this term that went against the gun lobby. In March, the justices ruled unanimously that a federal law intended to keep guns away from domestic violence offenders can apply even if their crime was nothing more than "offensive touching."

Thank you, SCOTUS -- and hooray for you especially, Justice Kagan.

This points out the flaws as well in not requiring a background check on EVERY gun purchase. PERIOD.

An observation from a facebook friend

A facebook friend observes:
I have noticed one very big difference between guns rights supporters and gun violence prevention supporters.

Gun violence prevention supporters post pictures of their dead or injured children, spouses, parents, friends...guns rights supporters post pictures of their guns.
Interesting point.

Unattended gun found on carrier USS Enterprise at Newport News Shipbuilding - No Charges

Local news reports

A crew member of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise left an unattended gun onboard the ship this week, prompting an investigation and concerns at Newport News Shipbuilding, where the nuclear-powered ship is being decommissioned.
Matt Mulherin, shipyard president, disclosed the incident Friday in a letter to his 23,700 employees, saying "we are taking this matter very seriously."
He said the owner of the gun was found, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the matter. However, NCIS determined charges were not warranted and turned the matter over to Enterprise command staff for possible disciplinary action, according to a Navy source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the case publicly. Neither the Navy nor the shipyard would identify the sailor by name or rank. They also did not disclose why the weapon was left unattended.
A shipyard employee found the gun, and Mulherin termed it "an isolated incident."

Wisconsin Concealed Carry Permit Holder Loses his Gun at a Little League Game - A Kid Finds It - No Charges

Southern Beale

One of Wisconsin’s safest, most responsible gun owners ever forgot where he put his handgun at a kids’ Little League game:
Roger Gransee of Whitewater said he was acting as catcher as his granddaughter warmed up for her 12-and-under fastpitch game Sunday when he lost the handgun.
“I am so embarrassed by this, it’s unreal. It was just a careless mistake,” Gransee told The Gazette.
Gransee has a permit under the state’s concealed-carry law, and concealed carry is not banned in Janesville parks, including the sports complex, police Lt. Keith Lawver said.
Well, at least he’s embarrassed about it. That makes everything alright, correct? The weapon was a loaded, .380 semiautomatic handgun, and it was found by one of the Little League players during the game. The child, clearly more responsible than the adult in this case, handed the weapon over to the umpire. A coach called police.

"Guns are just inanimate objects"

You've got nothing to fear since they are inanimate objects that's what you keep telling us.

People shouldn't fear an inanimate object which is capable of killing at a distance.

Well, guns may be inanimate objects, but they are still dangerous: especially if misused..

The video may be fake, but it makes the point: if this were a totally benign, inamimate object, there wouldn't be any problems.

Is that a concept you can come to grips with?

Monday, June 16, 2014

With School Shootings Routine, Parents Turn To Bulletproof Backpacks, Child Clothing

bullet proof ad

Huffington Post

The aftermath of school shootings is now all too familiar. The shock of the breaking news, the scenes of school evacuations, the ensuing political debate and the inevitable inaction. And for Ed Burke, the wave of new customers.
As CEO of the Massachusetts-based company Bullet Blocker, Burke sells one of the hotter goods in the body armor industry: bulletproof backpacks. And though he doesn't revel in the fact that business tends to boom after school shootings, he sees his company as providing a service for increasingly nervous parents.
"Business is growing unfortunately due to all the things happening in the country," Burke said.
The regularity of school shootings in America has set off a multi-directional reaction. Politicians have sought to respond with legislation. In some states, reforms have succeeded in passing. Federally, they have not, much to the chagrin of gun-control advocates.
"My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage," President Barack Obama vented during a recent town hall hosted by Tumblr. "We're the only developed country on earth where this happens."
Where politics has failed, business has stepped in, taking advantage of legislative inertia.
Bullet Blocker's co-founder, Joe Curran, built his first bulletproof backpack for his two kids after the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. He realized the commercial potential, and began manufacturing backpacks and other school safety products for a wider audience. Today, Bullet Blocker produces iPad cases, notebooks, and school bag survival kits ($400 -- advertised as a "great self contained kit to augment the reaction plans for school lock downs").
The company has averaged 35 to 40 percent growth each year, Burke said. Last year, it grew by more than 50 percent. And when school shootings happen, like the one that took place last week in Oregon, interest spikes further.
"We had quite a few requests today," said Burke, speaking hours after news of that shooting broke. "There is growing awareness of the violence that is happening in society. People say, 'Geez this is happening all over, how do we protect ourselves?'"

Bad news on the Straw Purchase front.

In case you missed it,The Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Abramski v. US where it found that Abramski HAD made a straw purchase even though the person he bought the gun for was not disqualified from owning a gun.  The matter seems to hang on the following items from the form:
Most important here, Question 11.a. asks (with bolded emphasis appearing on the form itself):
“Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form?
You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you.

The accompanying instructions for that question provide:
Question 11.a. Actual Transferee/Buyer:
For purposes of this form, you are the actual transferee/buyer if you are purchasing the firearm for yourself or otherwise acquiring the firearm for yourself . . . .You are also the actual transferee/buyer if you are legitimately purchasing the firearm as a gift for a third party.
Mr. Smith asks Mr. Jones to purchase a firearm for Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith gives Mr. Jones the money for the firearm. Mr. Jones is NOT THE ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER of the firearm and must answer “NO” to question 11.a.”
In other words, if someone pays someone else to buy them a gun--it is a straw purchase, unless the item was a gift.

Of course, Scalia, in typical fashion, has to say black is white: even though it seems pretty clear that this says the transaction in question is illegal.  In fact, this case is on point with the example given by the form.

This is bad news for the gun manufacturers.  It's probably even worse for the firearms dealers since “[T]he focus of the federal scheme,” in controlling access to weapons, “is the federally licensed firearms dealer."

Cenk Uygur Discusses the Right's Handling of the Jared and Amanda Miller Shootings

Michigan Lawful Gun Owner Gets Caught Doing His Thing

Local news reports

A Kingsford man has been arraigned after an accidental gun shot injured a woman who was near him.

Authorities say 64-year-old Jack Strong shot a pistol at a bag of cans near a woman. She was hit by bullet shrapnel.

Strong is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, careless discharge causing injury or death and possession of a firearm under the influence.  

Safe Storage Laws in New York

from ssgmarkcr

 Its obvious its an election year when politicians work hard to come up with laws that will fix everything.  Even when there is already a law on the books covering a crime.  It sort of reminds me of the war on drugs where politicians were working so hard to out do each other on how tough they could be regarding drug penalties.  And what we got out of it was an incarceration rate second to none.
On Friday they introduced “Nicholas’ Law,” which would require gun owners to do what they should already be doing — locking their weapons and storing them away.

    However, the recently passed NYSafe Act seems to already have that covered.

"The SAFE Act is aimed at reducing gun violence and making New York a safer place to live. It requires that guns remain safely secured and inaccessible to those not permitted to possess them. Following a few common sense rules and educating our children will make a safer New York."

What's a better means of protection than a gun...

Well, pretty much anything as this video demonstrates.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I understand the confusion

I know you lot don't want to be like Europe, but I understand his confusion.

Betcha didn't know he was an Arab!

Danny Thomas was an Arab (Lebanese, to be precise) from Detroit.

But how many people know that Casey Kasem was as well? Another Arab from Detroit (at one time, Detroit had the largest population of Arabs in the US).

Kemal Amin "Casey" Kasem is known for his being a DJ who presented America's top 40. In addition to his radio shows, Kasem provided the voice of many commercials; had done many voices for Sesame Street; provided the character voice of Peter Cottontail in the Rankin/Bass production of Here Comes Peter Cottontail; was the voice of NBC; helped out with the annual Jerry Lewis telethon; and provided the cartoon voices of Robin in Super Friends, Mark on Battle of the Planets, and a number of characters for the Transformers cartoon series of the 1980s. In 2008, he was the voice of Out of Sight Retro Night which aired on WGN America, but was replaced by rival Rick Dees. After 40 years, Kasem retired from his role of voicing Shaggy in 2009, although he did voice Shaggy's father in the 2010 TV series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.

Like Danny Thomas, Casey was an American icon.

It makes me sick to think that white, right wing assholes get a pass while Arabs are fingered as terrorists.

Especially when you think of the Arabs and Muslims who have contributed to US culture.

What do Ray LaHood, Tony Shalhoub, and Selma Hayek have in common? They’re each Arab American. As are Sen. George Mitchell, Diane Rehm, Doug Flutie, and Frank Zappa. And the CEO of Del Monte Produce, the founder of Farouk Systems hair products, and the inventor of the heart pump.

Arab Americans' accomplishments are as diverse as our community itself. Arab Americans have distinguished themselves in science and medicine, academia and sports, the arts and politics—in every aspect of American life.

I am sorry to hear of Casey's passing.  We really need more people like Casey and Danny these days to fight the hate and ignorance.

See also:  Famous Arab Americans