Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's about Civilian Control of the military, no matter how much you want to pretend it isn't

In this case, the Second Amendment analogue comes from Virginia.

Delegate Mark Cole has proposed to amend the Virginia Constitution, to explain that the right to keep and bear arms is an "individual right", not connected with militia service. This would align with the new SCOTUS decision in Heller, where they argued that the first part of the 2nd amendment was not connected to the second part. HOWEVER, the language of the Virginia Constitution on this subject is much more difficult to dismiss:

Article I. Bill of Rights
Section 13. Militia; standing armies; military subordinate to civil power
That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
Look carefully and you will see the word "therefore" between the militia reference and the right to keep and bear arms. Not sure how they can be separated when they are joined by a very explicit "therefore". In addition, the explanation would reference "self defense", "hunting" and "any lawful purpose" - all things that are not mentioned, or even hinted at, in the VA Constitution. Just look at the title and tell me that the writers were thinking of individual self defense, etc.

If Delegate Cole wants to explain Section 13, he could start by explaining why we have totally ignored the phrase: "that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty"!!!!!

The problem is that the issue of civilian control over the military is a major topic in democratic societies, with it having a healthy debate during the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries (and even now).  People who supported militias believed that they would not be turned into standing armies; however, history has shown that militias usually become an army if there is a long term conflict (e.g., English Civil War and American War for Independence).

As I have said before, the militia system was moribund by the time of the American War for Independence as Adam Smith pointed out in his Wealth of Nations:
A militia, however, in whatever manner it may be either disciplined or exercised, must always be much inferior to a well-disciplined and well-exercised standing army.
It is poor policy to take an obsolete section of the US Constitution which was intended to deal with matters of the common defense and turn it to the detriment of promoting the general welfare.

How much bullshit are alleged DGUs anyway?

In this case, the DGU that turned out to be false, when someone in Doylestown claimed that the Souderton mass shooter, Bradley Stone, had tried to carjack him.  Instead of making himself a hero, this claim diverted police attention and resources from the manhunt.
"We contend that he performed an enormous hoax that cost taxpayers a lot of money," Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said at a news conference Friday night. "This is terrible conduct. This is unacceptable conduct."

However  the police officers were suspicious about the claim, according to Heckler.

And well the officers should have been suspicious since the two locations are about 13 miles apart.  Mapquest says it would take about a half hour to drive this, which is probably optimistic given the stop lights and traffic.

Of course, the pro-gun side is happy to look at these incidents as proof that ""guns save lives" when the reality here was that it wasted police resources.

I have to admit curiosity as to how many DGUs are actually verifiable incidents: especially now that the Get Away With Murder laws have stopped any inquiry as to the actual events when someone claims "self-defence".  Short of a major amount of evidence to the contrary, the claim of self-defence stands.  In fact, even with evidence to the contrary, the claim can pass (e.g., Trayvon Martin).

Breaking, it seems that Bath Township detectives believe they have “overwhelming evidence” to prove a former Navy SEAL, Chris Heben, lied when he claimed he was shot during an altercation with three black men outside of a popular shopping center.

"We have overwhelming evidence based upon video, cell phone records and interviews that the shooting did not occur in the West Market Plaza and that Mr. Heben made false allegations to us," said Bath Township Police Chief Mike McNeely.

George Zimmerman recently pointed out that you should have insurance if you are going to go around shooting people due to the legal costs.

Nothing I haven't been telling you, but you all know the law better than I do.

Yeah. right.
See also:

Jim Jefferies - Gun Control

Machine Gun America

Machine Gun America (pictured) has been criticised for operating in an area that is historically family-friendly

The Daily Mail

A new attraction where children as young as 13 fire military-grade weapons in zombie, gangster and cowboy-themed simulators has been slammed by gun control campaigners.

Although management claim their Orlando, Florida, attraction provides a safe place for the use of firearms, critics claim it is unsuitable for an area known for its child-friendly attractions.

The website for the business - named Machine Gun America - states it is Orlando's 'first automatic adrenaline attraction'.

Torture is OK - Gun Control is Not

Buffalo News op-ed

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pro-life hypocrisy

I should make the caveat that as a man, I am highly unlikely to ever have an abortion.

However, since I like to live by the golden rule, I would not like to preclude a woman from having an abortion.

In other words, as the bumpersticker says, "if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament".

"If you don't like abortion, don't have one."

In my case, it is highly improbable that I would have an abortion.  So, whether or not I would have one is a highly moot point.

In fact, if anything, this is a subject which really is not of my concern, which I guess is why I would call myself in the pro-choice camp, which is a good thing.

Since if we were going to make other's reproductive decisions for them, there are a lot of you I wouldn't have ever allowed to have breed.

But, there are two issues here:
  1. does someone who is alive have a right to live their life free from the fear that it will be easily taken from them without legal process?
  2. does someone have the right to choose whether or not they should have a child?
The problem is that some people would like to impose upon the personal decision whether or not to have a child (2).  If we are going to go down that path, should government impose how many children should be in a family?

Additionally, I have noticed that this debate is often guided by one's religious beliefs, which facially means that any attempt by government to impose any regulation of family planning is a violation of the First Amendment.  In other words, if your decision to intrude on another's choice whether or not to have a family is based upon your views as a Christian, then it is a violation of the First Amendment to have government impose that on another.

I would also add that this is a government intrusion into medical decisions, which if you don't like it coming from "Obamacare", then you shouldn't want it coming from anyone else.

So, since it is not my decision to make, but one to be made by a woman with the advice of her doctor--it's best I keep my opinion to myself.

Which clearly makes me pro-choice.

Unless, you like other people telling you how many children you should have, you should mind your own business about this as well.

Otherwise, you are probably one of the people I wouldn't have allowed to have had children.

Dog Shoots Man in Wyoming

A Wyoming man is recovering in the hospital after his dog accidentally shot him. In a phone interview on Thursday, Johnson County Sheriff Steve Kozisek confirmed that Richard L. Fipps, 46, was hospitalized Monday after his dog stepped on a loaded rifle in the bed of his pickup truck and accidentally fired it. The rifle's safety was off, Kozisek said.
According to Big Horn Mountain Radio, Fipps was removing snow chains from his truck when he was shot in the left arm.

Appeals Court Finds Gun Ban for Committed Man Unconstitutional

In the first legal ruling of its type, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati on Thursday deemed unconstitutional a federal law that kept a Michigan man who was briefly committed to a mental institution decades ago from owning a gun.
A three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the federal ban on gun ownership for anyone who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution” violated the Second Amendment rights of Clifford Charles Tyler, a 73-year-old Hillsdale County man.
“The government’s interest in keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill is not sufficiently related to depriving the mentally healthy, who had a distant episode of commitment, of their constitutional rights,” wrote Judge Danny Boggs, an appointee of President Reagan, for the panel.
Luke McCarthy, Mr. Tyler’s lawyer, called the ruling “a forceful decision to protect Second Amendment rights,” and said he hoped it had “a significant impact on the jurisprudence in the area of gun-rights.”
According to Adam Winkler, a Second Amendment expert and law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, the ruling could give momentum to the gun-rights movement. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see legal challenges to other parts of the [federal gun] law now,” he said.
Mr. Winkler also said the ruling could prompt Republicans in Congress to move to set up a new “relief from disabilities” program that would allow people to prove they’re fit to own guns.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pope Francis Turns 78

Happy birthday to Pope Francis, who turned 78 today.

Do you think he's talking about the right to own a gun?  I don't.

Gun loons--the best argument for gun regulation on the planet.

First off, we have the open carry movement imploding all around us with Veronica Dunnachie showing she wasn't a victim.

Nope, she was a killer.

Of course, the Open Carry Movement wants to say they never heard of her.
Yeah, right....

But, the best thing to do to get ammunition to shoot down your arguments is to just let you babble.  Like this.

I feel safer already knowing you people have guns in your homes.

Especially since it will help buttress the claim that guns in the home are more likely to injure or kill a family member than a criminal.

Gun loons--a dying breed.

quote of the day

A businessman himself, Bill Sherlach, the husband of Mary Sherlach said: "In business, measuring risk prior to producing, marketing, and selling a product or service is standard procedure. For far too long the gun industry has been given legislative safe harbor from this standard business practice. I believe in the Second Amendment, but I also believe that the gun industry should be brought to bear the same business risk that every other business assumes when it comes to producing, marketing and selling a product."

Redneck Humor

You're An EXTREME Redneck When...

1 You let your 14-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.
2 The Blue Book value of your truck goes up and down depending on how much gas is in it.
3 You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws.
4 You think a woman who is out of your league bowls on a different night.
5 You wonder how service stations keep their rest-rooms so clean.
6 Someone in your family died right after saying, 'Hey, guys, watch this.' 
7 You think Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.
8 Your wife's hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.
9 Your junior prom offered day care.
10. You think the last words of the Star-Spangled Banner are 'Gentlemen, start your engines.'
11. You lit a match in the bathroom and your house exploded right off its wheels.
12. The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse.
13. You have to go outside to get something from the fridge.
14. One of your kids was born on a pool table.
15. You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.
16. You can't get married to your sweetheart because there's a law against it.
17. You think loading the dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.

And in closing.... Two good ol' boys in a Alabama trailer park were sitting around talking one afternoon over a cold beer after getting off work at the local Nissan plant. After a while the 1st guy says to the 2nd, "If'n I was to sneak over to your trailer Saturday & make love to your wife while you was off huntin' and she got pregnant and had a baby, would that make us kin?" The 2nd guy crooked his head sideways for a minute, scratched his head and squinted his eyes thinking real hard about the question. Finally, he says, "Well, I don't know about kin, but it would make us even!" NOW ALL Y'ALL HAVE A GOOD DAY

The Truth about Australia's Gun Laws

Historical Population of Australia, 1788 to FutureHomicide victims from 1993 to 2007 (number per year)

In response to the extremely rare spree shooting in Australia, the gun nuts blamed the strict gun laws. That's pretty funny, especially since their shootings are now so rare that when they have one it's international news.

A pro-gun article I read said murders are only slightly down since the implementation of their stricter gun laws, but as we can see from the above charts, murders are down and population is up.

You know what that means, right?

Virginia's Governor Terry McAuliffe Unveils his Promised Gun Control Agenda

Local news reports

In line with a key campaign pledge, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently unveiled a series initiatives aimed at preventing gun violence.
Included in McAuliffe’s proposals are closing the so-called “gun show loophole,” re-implementing the state’s one-handgun-per-month rule, prohibiting the possession of firearms for people subject to protective order and granting the Virginia State Police authority to process voluntary background checks.
The governor also recommends revoking concealed handgun permits for parents delinquent on child support payments and curbing unlawful firearm purchases by clarifying what information can be displayed by gun show vendors.

One Man's Experience with Washington's New Background Check Law

Seattle Times (opinion)

I went with some friends to check out the first gun and knife show in Centralia since the roll-out of Initiative 594 on Dec. 4. The new law, passed overwhelmingly by a majority of voters, closes the “gun show loophole.” Under current federal law, background checks are required only for sales by licensed firearms dealers. I-594 expands those background checks to private transfers or sales, common to gun shows.
“Remember to dress Lewis County and not Seattle-USC,” my friend text messaged me beforehand. I think I blended in just fine, other than the fact I was one of only two people of color there. 
At the entrance of the venue, a huge sign read “NO LOADED GUNS.” Security guards at the entrance provided zip ties to help people lock guns they wanted to bring inside to trade.
For the full experience, I went through a free background check after eyeing a $300 Winchester shotgun. Bremerton-based Palmer Ordnance was there to run the background checks using the federal database. I filled out a private-party transfer information sheet and a federal Firearms Transaction Record known as Form 4473. 
We had a slight problem.  The vintage gun I was interested in purchasing did not have a serial number. Someone brought it over from the dealer’s table. No digits anywhere, but that didn’t stop the process. They started the check; I was cleared almost instantly. 
To complete the trade, I would have to show the dealer this confirmation note:

Photo by Thanh Tan

Some of the wording in the new law could be clarified. But from my experience,  I just don’t view the concept of background checks as a huge burden.
Technically, I was not supposed to handle the firearm at all until the background check was complete and the seller was notified, but the gun had no ammunition and I probably looked harmless. In any case, there was no way anyone there was going to enforce the rule.

Utah 12-Year-old Dead - Charges? Doubtful

Adelaide Clinger, 12, a student at Centennial Junior High, died in an accidental shooting at her Kaysville home. (Davis School District)
Adelaide Clinger, 12, a student at Centennial Junior High, died in an accidental shooting at her Kaysville home. (Davis School District)

Deseret News

As the investigation into the accidental shooting death of a 12-year-old girl inside her Kaysville home finishes, some new details have been unveiled in a recently released search warrant.
Adelaide Clinger, who attended Centennial Junior High, was accidentally shot and killed inside her home, 1941 Cooper St., on Nov. 23.
Kaysville police have released very few details about the shooting. But according to a search warrant filed in 2nd District Court, officers discovered upon initial investigation that "adults in the home were examining handguns."
Clinger's father placed a loaded 9mm handgun in his pants pocket, the affidavit states. That's when a 10-year-old sibling "accessed the firearm and discharged the firearm," striking Adelaide.
It was unknown Wednesday whether the case would be turned over to the Davis County Attorney's Office to be screened for any possible negligence charges.

Quote of the Day

"We don't work to repeal the Second Amendment; we work just to piss off the NRA."
I know I do as well.

Tip of the hat to Frankie Knuckles.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

While you were being distracted by the shooting in Australia...

The US surpassed 12,000 gun violence deaths and will reach 50,000 verifiable incidents by the end of the week. You can go to to see a constantly updating Summary Ledger and a searchable database of the toll of US gun violence.

I should also add that there was another siege in SE Pennsylvania which didn't make US MSM, where at least 6 people died. I believe all the victims were armed as well.

It's news when it happens in Australia, but another day when a mass shooting happens in the USA.

Sore losers--the Pashtuns got you beat in the Gun Rights Department

Isn't this one of the Duck Dynasty crew?

In case this video doesn't embed:

I suggest you watch it and weep before saying stupid shit.

But that never stops you from making irrelevant comments.

Families Of Newtown Victims Sue Rifle Manufacturer, Gun Store

Huffington Post

With Just 40 Gun Murders In Australia In 2012, Sydney Hostage Crisis Looms Large

Huffington Post

Australia was rocked by a rare episode of gun violence on Tuesday, when a tense hostage siege in Sydney came to an end after police pushed into a downtown cafe and exchanged gunfire with the suspect. The gunman, reportedly armed with a pump-action shotgun, was killed by police, who entered the store after gunfire was heard inside. Two hostages also died, though it was unclear whether they were killed by the hostage-taker or by police who sought to free them.
The battle at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in the heart of Sydney initially looked more complicated than a "damaged goods individual" with a gun, as the gunman's former lawyer recently described him. There were reports of possible explosives, an ominous display of a flag with an inscription of the Islamic declaration of faith, and rumorsthat the gunman may have ties to other terror suspects.

9 Absurd Justifications For Police Killings Of Unarmed Black Males

Huffington Post

1. Health complications.
Eric Garner's July 17 death at the hands of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo was captured on film and circulated on the Internet. Garner's last words, "I can't breathe," later became a rallying cry during demonstrations made in his name. Pantaleo, who placed Garner in a chokehold prohibited by the police department, was not indicted for the death. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said shortly after the grand jury's decisionthat Garner would have survived the fatal chokehold had he not been "obese."

More on the Michael Brown Grand Jury's Findings

Huffington Post

South Carolina 3-Year-old Shoots Himself Dead - No One Charged

Local news reports with video

The mother of a 3-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed himself thought the gun was unloaded, according to Simpsonville Police Chief Keith Grounsell.
Grounsell said the child’s 38-year-old mother, who has limited knowledge of guns, had taken the clip out of the gun, but did not realize that there was still a bullet in the chamber.
"The mother did take precautions. It wasn't that she didn't. She just didn't know how to properly unload a gun," Grounsell told WYFF. "The magazine was removed from the gun but she did not rack the slide to get the bullet out of the chamber."
He said the mother had put the gun inside a dresser, and Michael had climbed up on a pile of Christmas presents to reach it.
I guess it all depends on what you mean by precautions.

Ohio Man Shoots and Kills Himself with Friend Gun - No Charges

Local news reports

A Newark man was killed last night when a gun he was handling accidentally fired. 

Christopher Byerly, 23, was visiting a friend at 569 E. Main St. Newark Police Sgt. Paul Davis said that Byerly was carelessly handling a firearm that belonged to the resident. 

When the gun owner tried to retrieve the gun, Davis said, Byerly pulled away. His thumb got caught in the trigger guard and the gun fired, shooting Byerly in the chest. 

Byerly, of 88 N. Buena Vista St. in Newark, was taken to Licking Memorial Hospital, where he died. 

Davis said there was no evidence of any criminal activity. 

‘It was completely accidental,” said Davis. “We don’t anticipate any type of criminal charges being filed.”

Obama Surgeon General Nominee Prevails Over NRA And Right-Wing Media Smear Campaign

Media Matters

Dr. Vivek Murthy overcame a longstanding right-wing media and National Rifle Association smear campaign togain Senate confirmation as Surgeon General on Monday by a vote of 51-43.

Conservative media had worked to cast Murthy as a radical for his uncontroversial stance that gun violence is a public health issue and criticized his supposed lack of qualifications.

The conservative media attacks against Murthy began in early March. Coverage of his nomination focused on his past acknowledgement that gun violence affects public health, which conservative media spun as evidence Murthy is obsessed with gun regulations. (Murthy has actually said his focus as Surgeon General will not be on gun violence, but rather obesity.)

Fox contributor Katie Pavlich claimed that Murthy is "rabidly anti-gun" and "must be stopped," and Fox & Friends co-host Peter Johnson, Jr. argued that, if confirmed as Surgeon General, Murthy would make the examining room about "about party registration or about gun registration" rather than medicine. Fox hosts also worked to downplay Murthy's considerable accomplishments and suggested that he was unqualified to be "our nation's doctor" because "he hasn't done much in his career yet," all while arguing he would turn the Surgeon General role "into a hyper-partisan position." These arguments became the basis for an extendedsmear campaign on Fox News and conservative blogs.

Quote of the Day

“The thing is, once everybody’s carrying guns, it kind of becomes hard to identify who the good guy is, who the bad guys is. It’s not like people are running around with a stamp on their forehead saying, ‘good guy,’ ‘bad guy,’” said Marshall, Texas, Police Chief Jesus Campa.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It would be even more intimidating if he had 6-8 black men with him....

Or, Santa: He'll slay you!
"Elves," he said. "They're just so silly. I now have 6-8 black men as helpers."

You don't seem to realise how stupid you come off to me when you point to the "blackface" aspect of the Zwarte Piet tradition in my posts: especially when there is a link to SOMEBODY READING THE STORY, where he says. 
In France and Germany gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve, while in the Netherlands the children open their presents on December 5, in celebration of St. Nicholas Day. It sounded sort of quaint until I spoke to a man named Oscar, who filled me in on a few of the details as we walked from my hotel to the Amsterdam train station...
 Then, of course, you've got the six to eight former slaves who could potentially go off at any moment. This, I think, is the greatest difference between us and the Dutch. While a certain segment of our population might be perfectly happy with the arrangement, if you told the average white American that six to eight nameless black men would be sneaking into his house in the middle of the night, he would barricade the doors and arm himself with whatever he could get his hands on.
 Not to mention I say things like:
OK, this is a tradition that needs to be experienced in person, but this comes pretty close to what it is like.  It usually comes as a surprise for the non-Dutch/Flemish when they first encounter it (I know it did me).
 As Sinterklaas is coming to town this weekend: here is a description of a tradition that I experienced live and in person when I lived in Belgium.  I was walking down the street in Antwerp to run into two men in blackface (and this was after Vlaams Bloc won the election).  I decided to keep my wisearse comments to myself.
Now, would the neo-nazi Vlaams Bloc be upset if my comments were approving?  Seriously, How stupid are you people?

and I have a label to the post: 6 to 8 Black men

had you bothered to LISTEN to the story, you would have heard: 
Oscar finished his story just as we arrived at the station. He was a polite and interesting guy very good company, but when he offered to wait until my train arrived I begged off, claiming I had some calls to make. Sitting alone in the vast, vibrant terminal, surrounded by thousands of polite, seemingly interesting Dutch people, I couldn’t help but feel second rate. Yes, the Netherlands was a small country, but it had six to eight black men and a really good bedtime story. Being a fairly competitive person, I felt jealous, then bitter. I was edging toward hostile when I remembered the blind hunter tramping off alone into the Michigan forest. He may bag a deer, or he may happily shoot a camper in the stomach. He may find his way back to the car, or he may wander around for a week or two before stumbling through your back door. We don’t know for sure, but in pinning that license to his chest, he inspires the sort of narrative that ultimately makes me proud to be an American.
Consider yourselves willfully ignorant if not seriously DUMB for having missed a lot of what was going on.

Take another bow for making fools of yourselves!  You deserve it.

Ammo to Space


9mm Ammo for Sale with Free Shipping -

The US is falling behind in the Gun Rights Category

This is bad. Gun Loving Pakistan is showing  that they value freedom, especially gun rights, far more than the US.
The similarity might not be intentional, but its far too obvious.

Pakistan's gun culture has been mentioned before--and they love their guns as much, if not more, than people in the US.  Pakistan even has an equivalent of the Second Amendment as gun loons envision it in their Constitution!

Well, they weren't gonna be outdone in the mass shooting department by the US of A.

No way.

The Pakistanis, especially the Taliban, had to show that they were freedom loving people like their US counterparts with a massive school shooting.

At least 126 people, most of them children, have been killed in a Taliban assault on an army-run
Hali Ph'shar (ALEX BOWIE / GETTY)
school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

Peshawar--sound familiar?  Yeah, it's the home of the Darra Gun Bazaar!  It's Pakistani Gun Loon Central!

Let's toss in that the School was run by the Army. 

I don't give a shit what you clowns think, but there were probably more "good guys with guns" on the spot than you could count.

I also doubt there will be much of a movement to try and ban guns in this part of the world as well.

But, this definitely changes the dialogue.

The Taliban know the real meaning of FREEDOM!
Live with it!

See also:

Astrological Significance of the Solstice Refuted--NOPE!

Further Reading:

Pennsylvania Spree Shooter Kills Six

Bradley William Stone
Bradley William Stone


Montgomery County police are seeking the suspected gunman, whom they named as Bradley William Stone, 35.
They say he may be armed and dangerous and told residents to remain indoors.
The suspect killed his ex-wife Nicole Stone, her mother, her grandmother, her sister, her sister's husband and 14-year old daughter.

Albuquerque Cop Shoots Man Accidentally Through the Floor

Local news reports

Monday, December 15, 2014

The internal flaw of the gun conspiracy theorists

Or as David Aaronovitch's pointed out about Alex Jones: if he knows all this top secret truth, and is still alive, does that mean that it's all bollocks, or is Jones part of the conspiracy?

"You are the worst person I've ever interviewed...We have an idiot on the programme today,"

Anyway, like the idiot above, your premise contains an internal flaw:
"Mass shootings, in particular, are staged by the government to enable the swift enactment of draconian gun laws."
The US sees far more mass shootings, and gun violence in general, than any other DEVELOPED nation, yet gun laws have gotten weaker for the most part if anything.  Sure, there have been some gains in some states, but nothing like what happened in Australia, which is what you assert should have happened.  In fact, the laws enacted in Australia would be mild according to what you claim.

Instead, what we see is reality denial, with above idiot being one of the worst offenders.

I'll offer a counterquestion to your statement:  why should we give a fuck about your rights if you don't care about others?

You have given up your place at the table when you can walk up to a victim's family member and assert that their pain is somehow "false" or "fake".

You are the person who is unreal.

The Mediæval Bæbes: Coventry Carol

A carol where a mother (teacher) sings to a small child to be quiet so as not to be killed seems particularly appropriate in a society where school lock down drills have become common.

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we do sing
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Herod, the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his owne sight,
All young children to slay.

In Brooklyn Gun Cases, Suspicion Turns to the Police

Eugene Moore spent a year in jail after he was arrested, based in part, the police said, on a tip from an informer. CreditRichard Perry/The New York Times

New York Times

The tip comes from a confidential informer: Someone has a gun. Ten or more minutes later, police officers find a man matching the informer’s detailed description at the reported location. A gun is discovered; an arrest is made. 

That narrative describes how Jeffrey Herring was arrested last year by police officers in the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. It also describes the arrests of at least two other men, Eugene Moore and John Hooper, by some of the same officers. The suspects said the guns were planted by the police. 

There were other similarities: Each gun was found in a plastic bag or a handkerchief, with no traces of the suspect’s fingerprints. Prosecutors and the police did not mention a confidential informer until months after the arrests. None of the informers have come forward, even when defense lawyers and judges have requested they appear in court. 

Taken individually, the cases seem to be routine examples of differences between the police account of an arrest and that of the person arrested. But taken together, the cases — along with other gun arrests made in the precinct by these officers — suggest a pattern of questionable police conduct and tactics.

Gun Range Santa

American Holiday Traditions

Republican Response to the Torture Report

The Senate Democrats say we tortured some people.


Deep in your hearts--you know it's long past time for action

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

Unless we adopt and enforce strict gun control laws--ones much tougher than the Brady Bill--we will never succeed in stemming the violence spawned by the drug trade.
Source: Seize the Moment, by Richard Nixon, p.294-295 , Jan 15, 1992

In a time long before the term "Conservative" became synonymous with "village idiot" in US usage (conservatives in other countries can actually be reasonable--I know it's hard to believe, but it's true),  Gun Control was seen as a bipartisan issue relating to public safety.

So, yes by the US usage of the term "Conservative", there is no way that I could be one--and I'm very proud of that fact.

Disappointing Turn Out for Washington's "I Will Not Comply" Rally

Gun Rally
A child looks at a man carrying a rifle during a rally by gun-rights advocates to protest a new expanded gun background check law in Washington state Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, in Olympia, Wash. Saturday's protest was called the "I Will Not Comply" rally, and those attending said they will openly exchange firearms in opposition to the state's new voter-approved universal background check law, Initiative 594. The law, which took effect on Dec. 4, requires background checks on all sales and transfers, including private transactions and many loans and gifts. ELAINE THOMPSON — AP Photo

Local news reports

About 1,000 gun-rights advocates, many openly carrying rifles and handguns, rallied Saturday outside the Capitol to protest a new expanded gun background check law in Washington state.
Organizers of the "I Will Not Comply" rally promised to exchange and sell firearms without conducting background checks during the daylong rally in opposition to the state's voter-approved universal background check law.
"We're going to stand up for our rights," rally organizer Gavin Seim said. "Our rights are not up for negotiation."
Initiative 594 passed with 59 percent of the vote last month. Geoff Potter, who served as a spokesman for the pro-initiative campaign, said that the rally was "a very loud, but very, very narrow and unrepresentative view of what the people of Washington have clearly demonstrated they want on background checks and gun laws."

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The Massacre of the Innocents.

Today's lesson comes from Matthew 2:16–18: The Massacre of the Innocents.
When [the Magi] had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, he said, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him. So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." When Herod realised that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old or under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.
It is part of the Narrative of the Birth of Christ, yet this incident is only mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew and later Christian authorities who use this gospel as a source.  It is repeated each year with the singing of the Coventry Carol, which came from that City's Mystery Play:
Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we do sing
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Herod, the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his owne sight,
All young children to slay.
That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever mourn and sigh,
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Some people have doubted this was an actual historical event since it is only mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew.  Some people see this as being a contrived feature of the Gospels to show that Jesus was the Messiah by fulfilling the prophecy of being called out of Egypt.

Today is the anniversary of a mass shooting where 20 small children were shot.  This incident was well reported and documented, yet there are some who would deny that it happened.

Unfortunately, this is only one incident where children fall victim to firearms violence.  It seems that children are shot both intentionally and accidentally on a daily basis in the States.

There are those who would twist an archaic passage in the US Constitution which deals with an obscure institution, the Militia, which some would like to say would cause this to be an unintentional consequence of a "right" to own weapons outside the context of that institution.  This is despite the Constitution's purposes of  "insuring domestic tranquility" and "promoting the general welfare" as well as saying that people should not "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law".

Instead, we see people acting like Herod and countenancing a new slaughter of the innocents.  For what purpose?

Unlike the unborn, these are not speculative lives: they are persons who were living, breathing, and playing.  They had parents who wanted to bring them into this world. They would have had futures had there not been the easy access to firearms which leads to these new massacres of the innocents on a daily basis. 

For those who would say they want to protect the unborn: why do they not wish to also protect the born?   As Sister Joan Chittister pointed out:
I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.
I will add that you cannot call yourself pro-life if you tolerate the daily massacres of the living innocents on top of the"pro-birth" attitude mentioned by Sister Joan Chittister.

In short, if you are going to truly proclaim yourself as being "pro-life" then you should want to protect the lives of those who are actually alive.  You would also want to see that their welfare was assured in keeping with the Gospel.  You need to think of the child who was born into poverty who talked of peace on earth and good will to mankind in this season.