Saturday, March 30, 2013

Behind Bloomberg’s Gun Buyer Background Check Ad Blitz

New York Mayor Bloomberg speaks to reporters after his meeting regarding gun violence with U.S. Vice President Biden, at the White House in Washington

Kevin Lamarque / REUTERS
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to reporters after his meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington February 27, 2013.


Rich people do crazy things with their money, but no one’s ever accused billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg of being the kind to throw money away on a lost cause. So some observers are confused by his $12 million ad buy during Congress’ Easter recess. Bloomberg’s ads push for the expansion of legally required background checks to include private sales, a move that close to 90 percent of Americans support, including 74 percent of NRA members, according to Republican pollster Frank Luntz.

Bloomberg’s not the only one pushing the issue this week. Backed by the mothers of victims of gun violence, an impassioned President Obama held an event at the White House Thursday morning touting his multifaceted gun control package and singling out the background check issue in particular. “Ninety percent of Americans–90 percent–support background checks,” Obama said, “How often do 90 percent of Americans agree on anything?” Groups allied with Bloomberg, like Gabby Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions, are also launching a background check blitz.

That should be a sobering thought for all the gun-rights fanatics who've been prematurely celebrating the demise of Obama's gun control agenda. Bloomberg is not the kind of guy to throw good money after bad.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

MSNBC Discussion

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Study Shows Guns Do Not Offer Protection

A family compare handguns at a National Rifle Association meeting
An American family compare handguns at a National Rifle Association meeting. Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Guardian

They compared 677 cases in which people were injured in a shooting incident with 684 people living in the same area that had not suffered a gun injury. The researchers matched these “controls” for age, race and gender. They found that those with firearms were about 4.5 times more likely to be shot than those who did not carry, utterly belying this oft repeated mantra.

The reasons for this, the authors suggest, are manifold. “A gun may falsely empower its possessor to overreact, instigating and losing otherwise tractable conflicts with similarly armed persons. Along the same lines, individuals who are in possession of a gun may increase their risk of gun assault by entering dangerous environments that they would have normally avoided. Alternatively, an individual may bring a gun to an otherwise gun-free conflict only to have that gun wrested away and turned on them.”

This result is not particularly unexpected. Prof David Hemenway of Harvard school of public health has published numerous academic investigations in this area and found that such claims are rooted far more in myth than fact. While defensive gun use may occasionally occur successfully, it is rare and very much the exception – it doesn’t change the fact that actually owning and using a firearm hugely increases the risk of being shot. This is a finding supported by numerous other studies in health policy, including several articles in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Arguments to the contrary are not rooted in reality; the Branas study also found that for individuals who had time to resist and counter in a gun assault, the odds of actually being shot actually increased to 5.45 fold relative to an individual not carrying.

The rest of the article makes the point a bit more in depth. But it's basically what many of us have been saying for years.

One thing it highlights is the despicable and self-centered behavior of the NRA and gun-rights activists who insist guns do more good than harm.  Some of them are honestly blinded by their bias, others I suppose are so morally bankrupt that they preach guns-are-the-answer even though they know better.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Would Universal Background Checks Lead to Registration?

 This Huffington Post article outlines some of the major NRA lies, including this one:

Another bit of misinformation from the NRA is that universal background checks will lead to a registry of gun owners. The Brady Law explicitly bans the creation of a gun owner registry, and under that law instant criminal background checks have been made on over 100 million gun sales in the last decade without leading to the formation of a gun registry. Here again, misinformation has paralyzed effective gun safety protections. The vast majority of responsible gun owners support background checks because they know that the only people who will be negatively impacted are criminals and those who sell them firearms.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Iran, North Korea, Syria Agree with the NRA


Iran, North Korea and Syria blocked adoption of a U.N. treaty that for the first time would regulate the multibillion-dollar international arms trade. An agreement required agreement by all 193 U.N. member states. But other countries refused to let the treaty die.
Nice company the NRA and gun-rights fanatics are keeping these days.

What do the Penis Jokes Mean?

Jim Carrey's video, Cold Dead Hands, was in large part based on the famous penis joke. In essence, the joke says that gun owners are compensating for their small dicks with guns. It takes many variations, but is it meant literally?


The popular pro-gun put-down is a metaphor. It refers to the psychological inadequacy that leads some men to love guns. The incredibly foolish decision to own and, even worse, carry guns is the result of various mental problems, fear, paranoia, insecurity.

Normal, healthy men deal with their fears in ways that don't make matters worse in their own families and society at large. They use their intelligence and common sense. They understand that, except for rare particular cases, guns do more harm than good.

What's your opinion?  Do you think gun-rights fanatics who continually get overly offended by these jokes don't realize there's an even more insulting metaphorical meaning behind them?

Please leave a comment.

Bradley Turner, North Carolina Lawful Gun Owner, Arrested for Road Rage Incident

Here's the link to the Fox News discussion.

It seems even they find it laughable that Bradley Turner was the victim. But not everybody on The Truth About Guns agrees.  Although Robert named him an Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day (IGOTD), and most of the commenters agreed, which being terribly sycophantic Farago followers is usually the case, you can always count on a few true gun nuts to defend the guy with the gun against all evidence.

This from Blake

I think if someone were to do some internet sleuthing, there might be more videos of kids provoking fights and beating up on someone. 

From Skyler

I disagree that he was not justified in drawing a gun at that point (assuming he didn’t initiate the violence). He can’t guess if the kids are going to try to run him over or come back again. A reasonable person might conclude that he still felt in danger.  


No sense starting a fight armed, good chance that gun will be needed by the end. Better be peaceable and not take a life. Even if its some asshole kids looking for a fight.


My problem with the video is we don’t know what caused this confrontation in the first place. Did the two guys threathen him first with words? Just because he threw the first punch doesn’t necessarily mean he was the instigator. 

Those guys are more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Am I right?

President Obama: Shame on Us if We've Forgotten

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Washington Man Arrested for Shooting up the Neighborhood

shooting at neighbors' homes

Pierce County sheriff's deputies secure a scene on 54th Avenue Northeast in the Fife Heights neighborhood in Tacoma, Wash., where shots were fired Tuesday, March 26, 2013. Police said that the shooter is holed up in a house.
Pierce County sheriff's deputies secure a scene on 54th Avenue Northeast in the Fife Heights neighborhood in Tacoma, Wash., where shots were fired Tuesday, March 26, 2013. Police said that the shooter is holed up in a house. / AP Photo/The News Tribune, Peter Haley

Local news reports

A Pierce County sheriff's spokesman says a 67-year-old man has been arrested after an hours-long standoff with officers who responded to reports of shots being fired at homes in a northeast Tacoma, Wash., neighborhood.

Troyer said the man would be booked into jail on multiple counts.

Authorities are not sure yet what led to Tuesday's gunfire. Deputies found both a car and a house with bullet holes but are not sure how many rounds were fired. Callers who dialed 911 described a man walking through the neighborhood, shooting at homes. The man later retreated to his own home as SWAT officers arrived.
Lawful gun owner? Concealed carry permit holder? What do you think?

Jon Stewart on CPAC

Fox News Still Promoting Debunked Conspiracies About United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

Baltimore Police Officer Charged in Accidental Shooting of Trainee

The Washington Post

A Baltimore police officer has been charged in the accidental shooting of a police trainee last month.

A Baltimore County grand jury on Wednesday indicted William S. Kern on charges of second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Kern has been with the department for 18 years and was a training academy instructor at the time of the Feb. 12 shooting at the Rosewood Center in Owings Mills.

The recruit for the University of Maryland, Baltimore police department was critically wounded. Baltimore police officials have said they weren’t aware of the training exercise and temporarily suspended its training academy.

Maryland State police say Kern turned himself in Wednesday.

Dallas Police Trainee Shoots Himself

Local news reports

A police trainee with Dallas Area Rapid Transit was wounded around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday morning after his service weapon accidentally discharged. The bullet struck the trainee in the leg.

A spokesman for DART said that the trainee was putting his weapon in its holster when it accidentally fired. Another spokesman confirmed that the trainee shot himself in the thigh and was taken to Methodist Hospital in Dallas.
He should be looking for another career, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Green Day - Someone Kill the DJ

Does music like this add to the problem of gun violence? Yes.

Does censoring it make sense?  No.

The problem with censorship is it's too difficult to agree on the acceptable line beyond which things need to be banned.  Unless we keep those prohibited items to an absolute minimum, we run the risk of harming people's right to free speech.

This does not apply to gun availability, however. Proper gun control laws would do nothing more than inconvenience lawful gun owners. The gain, in preventing many of the unfit and irresponsible from acquiring guns would far outweigh that inconvenience.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Fox News on Jim Carrey's Cold Dead Hands Video

Connecticut Senators Respond to the NRA's Robocalling of Newtown Residents

Wayne LaPierre NRA

Business Insider reports

Responding to reports that the National Rifle Association is robocalling residents of Newtown, Conn., the state's two U.S. Senators lashed out at the organization's CEO in a scathing letter jointly released Monday.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both Democrats, wrote in a letter to NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre that the robocalls were the latest in a "long line of offensive steps your organization has taken" in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December.

From the letter:

Unfortunately, this latest act is just another example in a long line of offensive steps your organization has taken in the wake of this tragic shooting. Your press conference one week after the tragedy articulated your surreal vision that the only way to solve the epidemic of gun violence in America is through the use of more guns. One month later you released “NRA: Practice Range,” an Apple app that allows individuals to shoot targets in a variety of settings and with a number of different weapons, including handguns, an AK-47 and an M-16.  More recently, one of the NRA’s Wisconsin lobbyists remarked that your extreme agenda may be delayed by the so-called “Connecticut effect.” 

Robocalling members of the Newtown community to promote your agenda less than 100 days after the horrific shooting is absolutely beyond the pale. Again, we call on you to show some basic decency and cease and desist these calls. 

Lawful Gun Owner in Georgia Shoots Himself by Accident - No Charges

Local news reports

A Habersham County man was airlifted for medical treatment after accidentally shooting himself Tuesday afternoon.
Sheriff Joey Terrell said the unidentified man apparently shot himself in the thigh with a 9-mm handgun while cleaning the firearm or preparing to clean it around 3:30 p.m. The incident happened inside a house on Elm Drive across from The Torch Worship Center off Cannon Bridge Road.

“They flew him to Atlanta Medical Center because the bullet hit the bone,” Terrell said. “It apparently shattered the bone – it was a bad fracture.”

Terrell said a gun-cleaning kit was found in the room with the man, and there’s no reason to believe the shooting was anything other than accidental.

Nothing but accidental?  How about negligent?  How about the result of violating more than one of the 4 Rules of Gun Safety? How about the work of a dangerously unfit lawful gun owner?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Jon Stewart on Obama's Visit to Israel

The UN Arms Treaty has Nothing to do with US Gun Rights

 To match Feature YEMEN-ARMS
Firearms and ammunition are seen on display at an arms market in Maarib city, around 190 km (118 miles) east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa October 14, 2010. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah 

Yahoo News


According to the U.N. Office of Disarmament, it will not do any of the following: interfere with domestic arms commerce or the right to bear arms in member states; ban the export of any type of weapon; harm states' legitimate right to self-defense; undermine national arms regulation standards already in place.

The National Rifle Association, the powerful U.S. gun rights lobby group, is strongly opposed to the arms trade treaty. The group has vowed to fight the convention's ratification by the U.S. Senate if Washington backs it at the United Nations.

The NRA says the treaty would undermine gun ownership rights under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The American Bar Association, an attorneys' lobbying group, last month disputed the NRA position, saying in a paper that "ratification of the treaty would not infringe upon rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment."
Try to tell the gun-rights folks the UN Treaty has nothing to do with them. The response is the most paranoid stream of consciousness you can imagine. Just watch the comments.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Public Enthusiasm Waning for Proper Gun Control Laws

 Shotguns sit on display at a gun show in Stamford, Conn. in January.Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

In the months following the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., polls showed greater support for stricter gun control laws.

A new CBS News poll released today, however, finds that growth has deflated back to pre-Newtown levels. CBS reports:
"Currently, support for stricter gun control laws stands at 47 percent today, down from a high of 57 percent just after the shootings. Thirty-nine percent want those laws kept as they are, and another 11 percent want them made less strict.
"Partisans hold different views on gun control laws: 52 percent of Republicans want the laws kept as they are, while 66 percent of Democrats want stricter laws (down from 78 percent in February). Half of gun owners themselves want gun laws overall kept as they are, but a quarter call for stricter laws."
Never fear, there's one thing that won't go down, or at least not significantly.  That's the numbers of killed and wounded by gun violence.  Also, the frequence of mass shootings.  Public opinion, by a largely biased or apathetic public will not affect those things.

Sooner or later, proper gun control laws will prevail despite the best efforts of the self-serving and cold-hearted gun-rights fanatics.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Filibuster Threatened

Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee speak at CPAC 2013. (AP)


Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, are vowing to filibuster any new restrictions on guns, according to a letter the conservative trio wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The warning comes just days after Reid announced plans to forge ahead on legislation that would expand background checks and stiffen penalties for gun trafficking after the Senate returns from a two-week Easter recess.

"We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that infringe on the American people's constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance," the senators wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Fox News.
To me this filibuster tactic always seems like a chicken's way out or a loser's way to deal with something that would otherwise fail.

Another thing to consider is, if the polls are right, these guys are seriously damaging their careers. NRA and gun manufacturer money cannot make up for constituents' disappointment come the next election.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Dumbest States in the US

dumb and stupid 150x150 Top 5 dumbest states in America

Mad Mike's America

I just read a report about the top five dumbest states in America AND they are all in the Southeast! That didn’t surprise me a bit; I have lived in Alabama for seven years now. But actually, for once, Alabama did not make this negative list although it did make the Top 10. All kidding aside, I actually have grown fond of Alabama, but I digress.

Apparently the people conducting this study looked at things like SAT scores, drop out numbers, percent of population with high school diplomas, number of college graduates, and even the number of TV-watching hours by teens. But all they really needed to do was take a drive and count the number of confederate flags flying in any given state. Those with the most would be the dumbest states. They could also count the number of republicans to find the dumbest state, but this is not a political commentary so I’ll move on.
So, here are the top five dumbest states in the nation:

You can click over to Mad Mike's to read the list and the explanation. But, I'll give you a hint. They love their guns.

The Latest from Colion Noir

As usual, it takes only seconds for Colion to begin the spinning. He mentions "hammer violence" in the same breath as "gun violence."

The rest of the video is a slick pitch for taking the focus off guns and puting it on violence. But why? That's what I want to know.  Most murders are committed with guns.  Innumerable other violent crimes are commintted with guns. Hammer violence is not a problem, gun violence is.

Why not focus on guns? 

The reason is obvious.  It's a self-serving attempt to discredit the gun-control movement. The people of the gun want as much freedom as they can get regardless of the overall harm it does to society.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Texas Man Kills Wife and Wounds her Lover

Larry Maples

 Local news reports

Authorities say an East Texas man has been arrested for fatally shooting his wife after finding her at the home of another man. 

Larry Maples, 44, of Ben Wheeler was charged with murder Sunday and was being held at the Van Zandt County jail. Sheriff Lindsey Ray says 34-year-old Heather Maples was pronounced dead at the home near Canton, 60 miles east of Dallas.

Also shot was 47-year-old Moses Clemente. He was listed in critical condition at a hospital but is expected to recover.

Ray says the shooting occurred about 6 a.m. after Larry Maples saw his wife's vehicle at the home and entered through an unlocked door. Maples called 911 after the shooting.

Ray says Heather Maples and Clemente had a relationship prior to her marriage to Larry Maples.
Lawful gun owner? Concealed carry permit holder? Both?

Racism and the Zimmerman family


Racism is when people make negative or derogatory, instead of looking at people as individuals.  It is all about disparaging assumptions.  Sometimes this is directed at an entire race or gender, other times it is directed as a subset of people in a distinct group.
That is true of many of the assumptions and generalities expressed on the right and especially by some of the more rabid talking heads and bloggers. 

And now we see it expressed in the Zimmerman family, a continuation of the obvious racism of George Zimmerman's assumption that all black teens were criminals. His brother shares that bias, that prejudice, that ugly assumption about black teen-aged males, missing the key differences, the differences which are not obvious.
 Robert Zimmerman Jr.: "black teens are killers."

Jim Carrey's Cold Dead Hands Video

North Carolina 10-Year-old Dead - Dad was Cleaning a Gun

Local news reports

A Fairmont man accidentally shot and killed his 10-year-old son while cleaning his shotgun on Sunday, according to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department.

Christopher Stanlane Jr., of 818 Gaddy Road, died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to sheriff’s Capt. Anthony Thompson. Thompson said officials responded to a call at 3:24 p.m. and pronounced Stanlane Jr. dead.

Thompson said that the boy’s father, Christopher Stanlane Sr., 34, was sitting on the couch and cleaning his 12-gauge shotgun while Stanlane Jr. sat on the floor in front of him and watched television. Stanlane Sr. had the butt of the gun on the floor and was wiping the side of his gun when a shot was accidentally fired, according to Thompson.
I'm so sick and tired of gun-rights activists telling us that everyone has a right to own guns with as few qualifications and restrictions as possible. The result is daily stories like this one.  Irresponsible, unfit but LAWFUL gun owners doing stuff like this, preventable stuff like this.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Irresponsible Utah Gun Owner Accidentally Shot With her own Gun

 Local news reports

A Sandy woman is in the hospital after she was accidentally shot by her niece on Monday around 7 p.m.

Sgt. Jon Arnold, Sandy City Police Department, said the 38-year-old woman was doing work on a computer while on her bed. The woman’s 15-year-old niece was cleaning the bedroom. 

The niece opened a drawer while cleaning and found a loaded handgun. When the girl pulled the weapon out of the drawer it went off by accident, and the woman was hit in the thigh.

Arnold said their investigation indicates the incident was nothing more than an accident involving a gun that had not been stored securely.
There is a simple solution, but gun-rights advocates don't like it. I say anyone who opposes simple solutions to gun violence is partly responsible for that violence.  Shame on them.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting in Virginia - Gun Owner MAY get a Slap on the Wrist

Monday, March 25, 2013

More on the Murder of the Colorado Head of Prisons

Further to our story at the time of the incident, it looks like it wasn't the evil Muslims like one of our patriotic American commenters said.

Video report

The Meet the Press Interview

Addicting Info
Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Whining about Mayor Bloomberg spending $12Million while, at the same time spending over $37Million defies logic…then again, so does the 180° flip-flop regarding background checks, and the 180° flip-flop regarding guns in schools [link].

What seems painfully clear, Mayor Bloomberg wants to see a reduction in gun violence, Wayne LaPierre want to see continued profits for the gun industry for whom he lobbies.
I can't believe any reasonably intelligent person can listen to these two guys and prefer La Pierre.  I figure those who do are either lying, because they love their gun rights so much, or they're actually blinded by bias and actually do think Wayne makes more sense.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Michael Moore's Statement on the Newtown Victims

What If Obama Were White?

Squalto Rant 

The Most Baneful State in the Union

After much deliberation the Mikeb302000 judges have decided to award the State of Florida with the crown.

Most Baneful State of the Union

It was a terribly difficult decision. Arizona seemed to be in the lead. But three factors contributed to the final outcome.

1. The governor
Before inexplicably becoming the governor of the state of Florida, Republican Rick Scott's most notable accomplishment was pulling off a major health care scam, defrauding taxpayers, and narrowly avoiding a criminal indictment.
2. The gun laws
Mayors Against Illegal Guns released a report this week that maps the influence of states with lax gun control laws on violence in states that have stronger gun control laws. Pro-gun advocates have frequently made the argument that gun control laws don’t work because states with tough gun control laws don’t have less violent crime than states with weaker laws. The problem with that argument was that state lines don’t work like some magical barrier and it is easy for someone living in a state with tough laws to drive to a neighboring state that has weaker laws, buy guns and come back home to commit the crime.
3. The prescription drugs
The nation's top 25 oxycodone-dispensing doctors were all in Florida in the first half of 2008; 18 of them were in Broward County, according to a Broward County state attorney grand-jury report. In South Florida overall, there were 176 pill mills, up from 66 just 14 months before. This has contributed to tourism — pill-shopping trips to the Sunshine State from Tennessee and Kentucky, where authorities have cracked down hard on similar clinics, seem to be as common as Disney vacations nowadays. In the parking lot of the Broward Pain Clinic, there are just as many license plates from Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky as there are from Florida.

4. Frequent Police Shootings

The shiny object in question was likely a fist-sized batch of crack cocaine wrapped in aluminum foil, according to a final report released Thursday. And Marin was justified in using lethal force, Miami-Dade prosecutors concluded in the first detailed account of the first of seven controversial fatal shootings in seven months in Miami.

It was decided that although Arizona makes a good showing in the first two categories, only Florida has this deadly and volitile combination. And not unlike the radioactive lava leaking out of a Fukushima reactor, this deadly trifecta of corruption and death, poisons all it touches, reaching far beyond the borders of the Sunshine State.

What's your opinion? Do you agree with the decision of the MikeB judges?

 Please leave a comment.

A Thwarted Massacre

Read more here:

The Miami Herald

Almost. Almost a massacre. Almost a college campus horror. But last week’s thwarted killing spree had no discernible effect on Tallahassee’s gun fetish. Almost mattered almost not at all.

James Oliver Seevakumaran amassed 1,000 rounds of ammunition. He smuggled two firearms into his University of Central Florida dorm room, a High Point .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and what police described as an American Tech 22-magnum tactical rifle, which has the look, if not quite the lethality of a higher caliber assault weapon. But it would be plenty efficient for slaughtering unarmed kids. Police said Seevakumaran packed two 28-round magazines for his rifle. Almost as an afterthought, he stuffed a backpack with four homemade bombs.

And he had a plan. A checklist for killing. Last on his list, the would-be gunman had scrawled, “Give them hell." 

UCF campus police chief Richard Beary told reporters that early Monday morning the 30-year-old Seevakumaran had pulled the fire alarm, knowing that fellow residents of Tower 1, a seven-story dormitory, would spill out into the hallways and down to the common areas, where they would be clumped together for easy targeting. “Anybody armed with this type of weapon and ammunition could have hurt a lot of people here, particularly in a crowded area as people were evacuating,” the chief told reporters.

But his roommate, Air Force veteran Arabo Babakhani, emerged from his bedroom and was confronted with Seevakumaran wielding the gun. Babakhani slammed the door in the gunman’s face and called 911. Police arrived quickly. “We think the rapid response of law enforcement may have changed his ability to think quickly on his feet,” Beary said. Instead, he shot himself in the head.
This is part of the reason Florida still wears the crown in my book.

Gun Availability Means Murders for Blacks and Suicides for Whites

The Washington Post

Gun deaths are shaped by race in America. Whites are far more likely to shoot themselves, and African Americans are far more likely to be shot by someone else.
The statistical difference is dramatic, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A white person is five times as likely to commit suicide with a gun as to be shot with a gun; for each African American who uses a gun to commit suicide, five are killed by other people with guns.

Where a person lives matters, too. Gun deaths in urban areas are much more likely to be homicides, while suicide is far and away the dominant form of gun death in rural areas. States with the most guns per capita, such as Montana and Wyoming, have the highest suicide rates; states with low gun ownership rates, such as Massachusetts and New York, have far fewer suicides per capita.
Now that makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Where there are more guns there are more suicides. Please note they did not say "more gun suicides," they mentioned the suicide rate.

The gun-rights fanatics love to sarcastically say our point is that guns CAUSE people to commit suicide. Of course that's not true.  We understand as well as they do that inanimate objects don't have such power.  But what we understand that they refuse to admit is that suicide attempts with guns are more likely to be successful, therefore where guns are available more suicides take place.

It's really pretty simple.  What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

The Roots of Anti-Government Gun Culture in America

 The Daily Beast

The most arresting idea in Adam Winkler's impressively learned study of US gun law, Gunfight, is the suggestion that contemporary American gun culture was more or less invented by the Black Panthers.

Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, the party founders, had studied law and discovered California allowed the carrying in public of loaded rifles and shotguns, provided that the guns were not pointed at anyone. They seized on this law to stage theatrical confrontations with an Oakland police force they deemed hostile and oppressive - and then, most dramatically, in May 1967, to walk armed into the chamber of the California State Assembly. Police tried to intervene, but Newton and Seale recited the authorizing law, and pushed ahead.

The article goes on to point out the similarities between modern-day gun-rights activists and the Black Panther Movement of the 1960s. Fascinating.

Former Chief Justice Warren Burger on the Second Amendment

"[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."

         --- Former Chief Justice Warren Burger, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, December 16, 1991

Supreme Court Justice Warren E. Burger on Gun Control


The Right To Bear Arms

A distinguished citizen takes a stand on one of the most controversial issues in the nation

By Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States (1969-86)
Parade Magazine, January 14, 1990, page 4

If we are to stop this mindless homicidal carnage, is it unreasonable:
  1. to provide that, to acquire a firearm, an application be made reciting age, residence, employment and any prior criminal convictions?
  2. to required that this application lie on the table for 10 days (absent a showing for urgent need) before the license would be issued?
  3. that the transfer of a firearm be made essentially as with that of a motor vehicle?
  4. to have a "ballistic fingerprint" of the firearm made by the manufacturer and filed with the license record so that, if a bullet is found in a victim's body, law enforcement might be helped in finding the culprit?
These are the kind of questions the American people must answer if we are to preserve the "domestic tranquillity" promised in the Constitution.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to the media at New York's City Hall after a ruling invalidating the city's plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants and other eateries, March 11, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Reuters/Reuters - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to the media at New York's City Hall after a ruling invalidating the city's plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants and other eateries, March 11, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid 

Yahoo News reports
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg predicted on Sunday that pressure from the American public would eventually force the Congress to expand background checks for gun buyers, even though the measure faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.

As Bloomberg launched a $12 million national advertising campaign aimed at prodding members of the Senate to support expanded background checks, he said the measure's widespread popularity would trump gun-rights groups like the powerful National Rifle Association that oppose it.

"If 90 percent of the public wants something and their representatives vote against that, common sense says they are going to have a price to pay for that," Bloomberg said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Bloomberg and La Pierre

Shown here are New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, and National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. (AP) 


NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre on Sunday challenged New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to spend $12 million on ads meant to pressure senators into backing strict new gun control measures, saying Bloomberg "can't buy America."

Bloomberg's pro-gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns is launching the campaign in states where senators may be on the fence regarding a package of firearms proposals making its way to the Senate floor. As the push for that legislation appears to falter, President Obama plans to soon tour the country to talk about the need to reduce gun violence, a senior administration official confirmed to Fox News. Bloomberg also confirmed Sunday that he plans to spend $12 million to run ads in at least 10 states, suggesting there could be a political price to pay for opposing the measures.

Making clear he intends to be a counterweight to the NRA, Bloomberg said he wants to make sure the powerful gun lobby is not "the only voice" in this debate. If he can achieve that, Bloomberg said, "then I think my money would be well spent."

LaPierre bristled at Bloomberg's comments.

"He can't spend enough of his $27 billion to try to impose his will on the American public," LaPierre said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "He can't buy America."
Bloomberg said he wants to ensure that the NRA is not the only voice in the debate. La Pierre said "He can't buy America."  What a perfect illustration of one man being reasonable and the other being a bullying fanatic.

Wayne doesn't like the idea that the gun control side of the debate might be equally represented.  Like any bully, it makes him nervous.  It's a frightening prospect that the millions spent by the NRA, to "buy America," might be matched or even outdone by his opponents.

By outdone I mean, communicating clearly to the voting representatives that by voting against gun control measures they are not representing their constituents. They are simply doing the bidding of the gun manufacturers.

Sooner or later this will cost them.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What the Civic right Does and Doesn't do.

The problem with politicising the Second Amendment is that it blinds people to the exact ramifications of this legal principle:

"If a topic is not specifically mentioned in a law, one cannot assume that topic is covered by the law."
n other words, since the Second Amendment is silent on the topic of personal arms, yet it does specifically mention the militia--one cannot infer that personal uses are covered.

I was discussing this with a "pro-gun" friend when he said "So, this means that Kennesaw, Georgia's requirement that everyone own a gun is constitutional" as the light when on in his head.

Which is correct--the Second Amendment is silent on the topic of personal guns, which means that neither a gun ban, nor a requirement that everyone own a gun would not violate the Constitution.  Although, one could argue that the requirement that everyone owned a gun could violate the First Amendment.

Just not the Second.

But, the real significance of the Second Amendment not applying to personal weapons is that any attempt to justify NOT regulating the firearms based on a personal "right to keep and bear arms" is thwarted.  Unless, one is using a State Constitution which does mention personal purposes.

Also, as the Heller-McDonald decisions have pointed out, the politicisation of the Second Amendment has made the make-up of the Judiciary an important consideration for elections.

To answer a commonly asked question, if the Miller Decision is still good law, how have the Heller-McDonald decisions affected its status as precedent.

Quite easily answered, despite what you think, the civic right interpretation is not dead, it's just dormant.

All you need is a judge who agrees with me and points out the overwhelming evidence for that interpretation as well as understands Miller and can show why it contradicts the Heller-McDonald decisions.  That judge points out the reason that the five justices found that decision "not helpful" is that it completely contradicts what they were doing.

That includes glossing the Cryptic  Aymette v. State, 21 Tenn. (2 Hump.) 154 (1840) reference at the end of this paragraph from Miller:
In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State, 2 Humphreys (Tenn.) 154, 158.
Aymette  says:
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.
Justice McReynolds taught law at Tennesse's Vanderbilt University, I am sure he was quite aware of this reference which has gotten lost in the mix. And what he is saying is that the Second Amendment's use of the phrase to keep and bear arms has a military sense, and no other.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert Vetoes Constitutional Carry

Utah Governor Gary Herbert
Local news reports

The governor said Friday he had vetoed a bill that would have allowed Utah residents to carry a hidden, unloaded gun without a permit.

It was one of the most hotly contested measures to come out of the Utah Legislature this year.
"As I've said it before, if it ain't broke, don't fix it," Gov. Gary Herbert said, noting the current system has not inhibited the ability of state residents to bear arms.

Supporters of the bill say they will urge lawmakers to overturn the veto.

Existing laws on the issue work well and provide an important tool for law enforcement agencies, which prefer the permit system, Herbert, a Republican, said.

"It does give you a second line of defense for background checks," he said.

Fox Polls Tell the Tale


Majorities of American voters favor an array of new gun control proposals, although support for some measures has slipped in the last few months.

A new Fox News poll finds the most popular measure continues to be universal background checks: A large 85-percent majority of voters favors requiring checks on all gun buyers, including at gun shows and private sales.  That includes most Democrats (90 percent), Republicans (83 percent) and independents (82 percent), as well as most of those living in a gun-owner household (81 percent).  
There is also sizable public support for requiring mental health checks on gun buyers (72 percent) and background checks on ammunition purchases (70 percent).

Click for full poll results.

12-Year-old Shot and Killed by his Teenage Brother - No Charges

The Examiner reports

A teenager accidentally shot and killed his 12-year-old brother in their Orlando home on Friday. The 16-year-old boy is the second minor this week to get a hold of a gun ending in a shooting of a child in the Orange County area, according to the Orlando Sentinel on Saturday March 23, 2013.

The 12-year-old boy and his older brother were at home in the 9900 block of Portofino Drive when the older boy got a hold of a gun that went off, killing his younger sibling. The boy was pronounced dead within a few hours of being rushed to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

The older brother is not expected to face any charges as police have deemed this an accident. At the time of the shooting the parents were not home. The family is fully cooperating, but at the same time they are asking for their privacy to mourn the loss of their son.

The name of the 16-year-old boy or the shooting victims in both cases have not been released. In the case of the older brother shooting the younger brother, police are expected to meet with the State Attorney's Office to determine whether there was any negligence.
You see how that works. It was just an accident, no reason to hold anyone accountable.  Accidents happen, right?

And if experience has shown us anything, there will be no accountability for the grossly negligent parents either. In Florida there is no such thing as a Safe Storage law because a man's home is his castle and no government has the right to tell him how he has to store his personal property.

The results are something all gun-rights advocates can be proud of.  And whether they admit it or not, they own a piece of the responsibility for this too.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting of New Orleans 3-Year-old - Gun Owner Arrested

 Local news reports

A 37-year-old man was arrested Friday night for accidentally shooting a 3-year-old boy in the hand, the New Orleans Police Department reported. Terrance Robinson was booked with negligent injuring, illegal use of a weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the Orleans Parish Sheriff's online records.

Terrance Robinson  

Robinson's bond was set Saturday at $50,000 for the three shooting-related charges, as well as $10,000 for an outstanding traffic attachment, records show.
He wasn't arrested for shooting the kid, he was arrested for being a felon in possession of a gun. Lawful gun owners shoot kids all the time and get away with it.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.