Saturday, September 27, 2014

How to Protect Yourself From Lead

 About lead ammo

In the United States, an estimated 3,000 tons of lead are shot into the environment by hunting every year, another 80,000 tons are released at shooting ranges, and 4,000 tons are lost in ponds and streams as fishing lures and sinkers — while as many as 20 million birds and other animals die each year from subsequent lead poisoning.

The US right is as much of a terrorist threat as are Muslims

First off, there is nothing in the Constitution which allows for a "right" to rebellion.  If Anything, the Constitution is very clear that it prohibits waging war on the US (Article III, Section iii).

Unfortunately, I do not hear many people calling bullshit when people say it is their "right" to own a gun to fight the evil government.

But ponder this:

Let's not forget Timothy McVeigh:

Or Anders Breivik:

Maybe we need to worry about white guys as much as Muslims.

The Thomas Jefferson Programmable Talking Doll


5-Day-old Indiana Baby Struck by Stray Hunter's Bullet - It Was Just a Tragic Accident - No One is Responsible

Texas Lawful Gun Owner Shoots His Wife - No Charges - Investigation Continues

Local news reports

An accidental shooting was reported this morning in the 100 block of Rosebud Road in Marshall. According to the Harrison County Sheriff's Office, Larry Watkins stated that he accidentally shot his wife in the abdomen.

"Upon arrival, Marshall EMT found a white female in a bedroom with a gunshot wound through her stomach and side," Lieutenant Jay Webb informed in a press release. "Her husband, Larry Watkins, stated he was allegedly placing a loaded 7.65 MM rifle in the gun case and it discharged, one time striking his wife, who was standing in the closet. When deputies arrived, the gun and case were on the bed in the master bedroom."

Webb said the wife was transported to the local hospital and is in stable condition.

"At this time, it appears that her injuries are not life threatening, however severe," he said. “This case is continuing to be investigated and an interview will be conducted with the victim, when she is able."

The real problem here is that we don't take so-called accidental shootings seriously enough. ANY misuse of a gun should be taken seriously, but when it results in injury or death there should be no question or hesitation.

In this case there is no question who is responsible. It was either an accident, as has been reported, or something worse.  In either case the guilty, bumbling gun owner should be charged appropriately and disarmed.

Jon Stewart Takes the Hypocritical Fox News Obama Haters to Task

I wanted to post a song, but...

I don't think MikeB would approve.

It's one from back when I used to live in Belgium by a group called Ottorngo.

"And what do you say to the Gun Loons??????"

Friday, September 26, 2014

FBI Report on Active Shooter Incidents (not Mass Shootings)

While I wanted to post it on my blog, (the best blog discussing events in East Asia) , I thought Mikeb30200 may be a better place for the article.

Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of shootings in which a gunman wounds or kills multiple people has increased dramatically in recent years, with the majority of attacks in the last decade occurring at a business or a school, according to an FBI report released Wednesday.
The study focused on 160 "active shooter incidents" between 2000 and 2013. Those are typically defined as cases in which a gunman in an attack shoots or attempts to shoot people in a populated area.
The goal of the report, which excluded shootings that are gang and drug related, was to compile accurate data about the attacks and to help local police prepare for or respond to similar killings in the future, federal law enforcement officials said.
"These incidents, the large majority of them, are over in minutes. So it's going to have to be a teaching and training of the best tactics, techniques and procedures to our state and local partners," said James F. Yacone, an FBI assistant director who oversees crisis response and was involved in the report.
According to the report, an average of six shooting incidents occurred in the first seven years that were studied. That average rose to more than 16 per year in the last seven years of the study. That period included the 2012 shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, as well as last year's massacre at the Washington Navy Yard in which a gunman killed 12 people before dying in a police shootout.
The majority of the shootings occurred either at a business or a school, university or other education facility, according to the study, conducted in conjunction with Texas State University. Other shootings have occurred in open spaces, on military properties, and in houses of worship and health care facilities.
A total of more than 1,000 people were either killed or wounded in the shootings. In about one-quarter of the cases, the shooter committed suicide before the police arrived. The gunman acted alone in all but two of the cases. The shooters were female in at least six of the incidents.
Not all of the cases studied involved deaths or even injuries. In one 2006 case in Joplin, Missouri, a 13-year-old boy brought a rifle and handgun into a middle school, but his rifle jammed after he fired one shot. The principal then escorted the boy out of school and turned him over to the police.
Law enforcement officials who specialize in behavioral analysis say the motives of gunmen vary but many have a real, or perceived, personally held grievance that they feel mandates an act of violence. Though it's hard to say why the number of shootings has increased, officials say they believe many shooters are inspired by past killings and the resulting notoriety.
"The copycat phenomenon is real," said Andre Simons of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit. "As more and more notable and tragic events occur, we think we're seeing more compromised, marginalized individuals who are seeking inspiration from those past attacks."
Beyond studying the shootings, the FBI has promoted better training for local law enforcement, invariably the first responders.

Dianne Feinstein's Famous Comments about "Banning Them All" and Gun Makers' "Outsmartation"

Kurt's comment which contains the link along with some of his usual nonsense.

Link to video

The famous remarks of Senator Dianne Feinstein about "ban[ning] them all, when taken in context, clearly refer to assault weapons.  They were talking about the diminished return achieved by the AWB because guns and magazines produced before the ban were still allowed.

The gun-rights fanatics have so often used her words out of context to say that gun control people want to ban all guns, that I'm glad Kurt finally helped us straighten that out.

The Louisville police chief had some good observations. "Violating the spirit of the law" and "exploiting a loophole" is how he described the unscrupulous and greedy gun makers who keep finding ways to perform, what Kurt calls, "outsmartation" but what I call shabby, disreputable behavior.

Of course, lying through his teeth, the President of Colt said, "I don't understand what they're talking about." I know Kurt liked that one.

Democratic Congressman Rick Nolan Poses with an Evil Black Assault Rifle

from ssgmarkcr

I couldn't pass this one up considering the recent talk of irresponsible conservative politicians and their support from pro gun groups.  This even sort of applies to your post regarding to pro gun politicians being photographed holding guns to garner votes.  Well, it seems that antigun politicians aren't immune either. 

    In this case, its incumbent Rick Nolan, who is being challenged by Republican Stuart Mills III.  Then Mr. Nolan spoke about his campaign at my class on state and local government in Brainerd when he was challenging and won the seat from Republican incumbent Chip Cravaak.  After his talk, I had the opportunity to ask him up front his position on Second Amendment issues, and as most politicians do, he said he supported it.  However, when asked if he supported the DFL Party platform, claimed he hadn't read it yet, said hunters don't need an assault rifle (his words), then rushed off claiming an appointment.
    So imagine my surprise/glee when this politician who makes no secret of his wish to ban assault weapons apparently tweets a photo of himself holding one of those evil rifles.

    The photograph's depiction of not only his hypocrisy and his weapon handling technique needless to say supplies ammo (pun intended) to his opponents. 

"The Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee has offered to pay for firearms training for Democratic congressman Rick Nolan at the chain of retail stores owned by the family of his Republican opponent, Stewart Mills.
The offer came in response to a picture posted to Nolan’s Twitter account Wednesday showing the congressman holding an AR-15 rile with his finger on the trigger while surrounded by supporters."

Gun rights have emerged as a key issue in the Eighth Congressional District race. Mills released a campaign ad this summer that claimed Nolan is among the politicians who “have no respect for the Second Amendment.”
Nolan earned a ‘F’ rating The National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund, but dismissed Mills’ ad as a “big lie, smear tactic.” Nolan aides said the congressman declined comment on Strawser’s offer.
“The basic rules of firearms safety, taught to students as young as 12 in [Minnesota Department of Natural Resources] hunter safety classes, state clearly that one’s finger should be kept off the trigger until ready to shoot,” Strawser said.
“It’s nothing short of hypocritical for Mr. Nolan to be photographed at what appears to be a campaign event while holding an AR-15 rifle,” Strawser said. “Mr. Nolan has specifically called for a ban on the very rifle he is holding in this photograph.”
The Minnesota Gun Owners PAC offered to buy firearms training for Nolan at Mills Fleet Farm Indoor Shooting location in Baxter.

But the political point was to challenge a Nolan assertion. During an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said that “I don’t need an assault rifle to shoot a duck or protect my family.”

    This campaign holds a personal interest to me in that I live in the 8th District and am also a member of the PAC who has kindly offered to show the good Congressman the proper way to hold a firearm.  In fact, I recently won 1,600 rounds of ammo at a fundraising drawing for the group.

Don't Blame the NRA Says this Father of a Columbine Victim


"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good &evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent
I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. 

What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. 

Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him.

To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! 

My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"

- Darrell Scott

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Eric Frein, gun nut and extremist right wing domestic terrorist

Eric Frein is the subject of a 1,000 man search, in response to the killing of one law enforcement officer and the attempted killing of another.

Frein has been evading the searchers, including resorting to wearing adult diapers in order to remain vigilant.  His dirty didies have been found in the woods by the searchers along with his AK47.

As we are approaching a second week of this manhunt, social media suggests that either Eric Matthew Frein is part of the Sovereign Citizen movement, or at least is receiving social media support and encouragement from it.  His beliefs seem consistent with those domestic terrorists and extremists, including their gun obsession and their desire to shoot their fellow citizens.

Pure speculation on my part, but given that bunkers filled with weapons and ammunition are characteristic of the right wing nuttery, and given the ability of Frein to avoid capture during this period while people look for him around the clock, he probably has some sort of longer-term hiding place that he is using, something on the order of an underground bunker.

As Frein continues to be spotted, and as the searchers continue to close in, the order has been given to shoot Frein on sight if he does not surrender, which is consistent with reasonable force by law enforcement under the circumstances.

One more example of why we should have stricter gun control; people like Eric Frein should never have weapons, much less military fire power.

"Fact" of the day...

So you really want to take on the US Military...

Think about these videos before you do something really dumb (not that you're too brite anyway)...

The fun begins around 2:40 in the next vid:

So you have sniper fantasies?

How can we forget steel rain?

Just remember the Spartans were wiped out by superior forces.

Have a nice day!

Quote of the Day

Misogyny is like a cornered rat, lashing out as women fight back.

Shaneen Allen Catches a Break


philly dot com

After a review by the state attorney general, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office announced Wednesday that it would allow a Philadelphia woman charged last year with illegally bringing into New Jersey a gun that was legally registered in Pennsylvania to enter a pretrial-intervention program and avoid jail time.
McClain said in a statement Wednesday that, in applying factors set out in the Attorney General's Office review, he had "determined that the defendant in this case should be offered the opportunity to be admitted into the Atlantic County PTI program," and that within the next few weeks, his office would review similar pending cases.

The Office of the Attorney General on Wednesday issued to McClain a clarification of the 2008 Graves Act directive that deals with circumstances in which an out-of-state resident holds a valid permit to carry a firearm within his or her own home state, is arrested in New Jersey, and is charged with illegal possession of a firearm under New Jersey law.

In the clarification, issued by acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman, it was noted that in most of these cases, "imprisonment is neither necessary nor appropriate to serve the interests of justice and protect public safety."

It's kinda funny that after all the whining and crying about unfair treatment by the gun-rights fanatics, including the bizarre exaggeration of Colion Noir, the poor persecuted Shaneen Allen isn't going to be so persecuted after all. Kurt Hofmann used language like "the ruination of this black woman's life, and the lives of her two black children," bringing race into it where no one else had.  Now, it seems, all that hysterical shrieking was a bit premature.

Another odd note is that whenever I condemn one of their fellow gun owners for misuse or negligence too quickly, they scream and yell about the need for a lengthy investigation before jumping to conclusions.  But, in this case, long before the review by the State Attorny Gereral had been completed, favorably for the accused as it turns out, they were condemning those responsible in the most extreme language possible.

Inconsistency and hypocrisy, that's their thing.

And, mark my words, rather than an admission of any kind, these gun-rights fanatics will actually take credit for the decision.  Just watch. In their typical and narcissistic delusional way, these guys will claim that the final decision came BECAUSE of their screaming and yelling and stomping of feet, as if the authorities in Atlantic City, New Jersey are following every word they write on the internet.

I applaud the Atlantic City Prosecutor's Office for its reversal of the earlier decision. I've been opposed to the extreme punishment of jail time for Ms. Allen from the beginning.  It's good to see the system working properly.

One final question: compare the above picture of Ms. Allen to the earlier one. See the difference?

Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?


"Gabby Giffords gets mean" blares a Sunday Politico headline for a story attacking Giffords, who was shot in the head at a public event in 2011, for running pro-gun control ads through her PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, against Republicans in various states. Writer Alex Isenstadt calls the spots "some of the nastiest ads of the campaign season" and calls Giffords a "ruthless attack dog." He also implies that the gunshot wound Giffords took to the head is an unfair advantage because it presents "quite the conundrum" for those who might otherwise attack her.

Eager to see "Giffords’ bare-knuckled approach" for myself, I fired up the most controversial ad, an attack on Arizona Republican Martha McSally, who is running for Giffords' former seat, which the congresswoman gave up in 2012 to focus on recovering from being shot. The ad features a woman named Vicki, who describes how her daughter's ex-boyfriend, who had a history of stalking her, was able to get a gun and murder both Vicki's daughter and husband. In another ad, a woman named Carol explains how a man with a criminal background was able to murder her daughter because he bought his gun at a gun show, where background checks are not required.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Not really a quote of the day...

I once saw a bumper sticker which misattributed this to Thomas Jefferson:
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
Amusing to have someone who owned slaves make a statement like that one.  Although, this is a more realistic rendition of the above comment.

You may be more of a socialist than you realise.

Shameless Fox News Haters

America's Deadly Domestic Violence Problem

Quote of the day

Whatever theoretical merit there may be to the argument that there is a "right" to rebellion against dictatorial governments is without force where the existing structure of the government provides for peaceful and orderly change. There is no debate that it is within the power of the Congress to protect the Government of the United States from armed rebellion if these mechanisms exist. No one should believe that it is not within the power of Congress to prohibit acts intended to overthrow the Government by force and violence as long as these institutions exist.

Paraphrase of Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494 (1951)

Birmingham Alabama Fired UPS Worker Shoots and KIlls Two Bosses and Himself

NBC News

A day after he was fired, a UPS employee showed up to work in Birmingham, Alabama, gunned down two bosses and then killed himself, police said Tuesday. "It appears the shooter knew exactly who he wanted to target at the time," Lt. Sean Edwards said.

Fascinating Observation by an Anonymous Commenter Concerning Fundamental Human Rights

Original comment thread

Guns were not even invented til 10,000 years after humans first walked the Earth. To say a gun is a fundamental human right is laughable.

Jon Stewart on the Congressional Climate Change Deniers

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

David Bowie - I'm Afraid of Americans

Quote of the Day

“Closing your eyes isn't going to change anything. Nothing's going to disappear just because you can't see what's going on. In fact, things will even be worse the next time you open your eyes. That's the kind of world we live in. Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes. Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won't make time stand still.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

More BAD Pro-gun conservative political candidates

From Minnesota again, this time courtesy of the City Pages about MN GOP endorsed, pro-gun state legislature candidate Roger Weber:

MNGOP Candidate Roger Weber Literally Sawed Neighbor's Garage In Half [PHOTO]

View image on Twitter
His "Issues" section may be blank, but it's safe to infer Weber is a big backer of chainsaw rights.

Roger Weber, the MNGOP-endorsed challenger for DFL incumbent Carly Melin's northern Minnesota House seat, faces a civil trial this week for sawing his neighbor's rural Nashwauk Township garage in half last year.

Why in God's name would he do such a thing, you ask? Because according to a Forum Communications report, Weber claims the half of the garage he mowed down was built decades ago by his father on land he now owns, but he doesn't want it on his property anymore. Meanwhile, the owner of the other half of the garage, Mark Besemann, acknowledges the property line dispute, but claims Weber acted unreasonably in resolving things with a power saw rather than peaceful negotiations.
Further down, the City Pages makes a passing reference again to the MN GOP endorsed candidate for Supreme Court, Michele L. MacDonald, and to the candidate Weber. The owner of the half-garage: Besemann, however, told Forum such behavior is reflective of a person "that isn't thinking properly." That would seem to apply as well to not only Weber, but MacDonald, and to Oregon candidate Wehby too. It's a fair concern that those who are pro-gun do not make a good case for widespread gun ownership when they stalk people, lie and plagiarize, obstruct justice and drive dangerously, and lie about being police officers (especially if under the influence of alcohol) or if they do erratic things like destroy garages with chain saws rather than seek resolution through the court system.

People who behave erratically, who are dishonest, and who don't 'think properly' demonstrate that they lack the personal qualities for public office, and arguably are not sufficiently responsible or capable of sound decision making relative to gun ownership EITHER.

One last little tidbit from the same City Pages article:
A poll released yesterday found that the incumbent MacDonald is challenging, Justice David Lillehaug, has an 86-point lead over her.
I don't know what candidate Melin's lead is over candidate Weber this time, but in 2012 she beat him by 42 points, 71 to 29% of the vote. I'm guessing with this garage sawing incident, in spite of being a mid-term election, that lead will go up, possibly as high as the Lillehaug lead over MacDonald.

Republican and Conservative Obama Hate

Atlantic City Votes to Ban Toy Guns

Fake guns
Shawn Bertke, manager of Rich's Pawn Shop in Dayton, Ohio, has two guns for sale that look virtually alike. At left is a $45 Crosman BB gun; the other is a $1,200 real AR-15 rifle. (Chris Stewart/Dayton Daily News/MCT) (Chris Stewart)

NJ dot com

Atlantic City officials voted last week to ban the sale of toy guns.

Gladys Luardo-Hemple said she doesn't allow her grandchildren to play with the toy guns, and believes children need to learn what they are, even if they are fake.

"Parents need to talk to the kids and explain the dangers of guns," Gladys Luardo-Hemple said. "Some of these toys look so sophisticated, they look real."

The ban, introduced by Police Lt. James Sarkos to Atlantic City Council, prohibits the sale, possession or use of any imitation firearms, except for non-firing antiques and film prop guns.
Paulsboro Police Chief Chris Wachter said he doesn't know how much of an impact the ban would have until a study was conducted.

"It's a very serious issue across the country, the toy guns are very realistic in the weight, the way they're designed," Wachter said. "If it didn't have the bright orange tip, you'd have no idea it was a toy AK-47."

Not One More

Link to video

Big Bruvver, or community action?

A few days back, there was a brutal attack of two gay men in Centre City Philadelphia.   The key evidence in the attack is a video showing a group of about a dozen white men and women in their early 20s who are "clean cut" and well-dressed.

These are type of person I am expected to trust with a loaded firearm in a public place.

Anyway, the victims were able to identify their attackers from the above video.  The case was broken  after a Twitter sleuth identified the mob via photos and their social media accounts.

I should add that one of the victims lost his bag, which included a cell phone and credit card that was picked up by one of the women in the group.

Now, if the person who had lost his bag had a gun, would he have had the time to have used it?

Of course, despite this being a brutal attack, the people involved may not do jail time.

See also:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Question of the day.

Is this the America YOU want to raise kids in?

You gotta love open carry, they make it so much easier to make the pro-gunners look really fringy.  Not that they need too much help to do that anyway.

Quote of the Day

"I don't believe in the Right of the People to bear arms…It's a shame you would rather be armed than have good sushi."

Are these people your enemies?

According to some reports, a total of 13 people were arrested in connection with this video by Iranian authorities who said this "vulgar clip" had "hurt public chastity".

According to a report from the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the group was found guilty of "participation in the making of a vulgar clip" and "illegitimate relations between members." Five of the participants were handed six-month suspended jail sentences, while the director reportedly received a one-year suspended prison term. Each group member was sentenced to 91 lashes.

Tip of the hat to Bob Bateman for this idea.

Karma is a bitch

Southern Beale's 2nd Amendment Hero of the Day

Southern Beale

Concealed-carry is so safe, y’all:
MANATEE — A 59-year-old Bradenton man accidentally shot his 58-year-old wife in the head about 8:40 a.m. Sunday in the 3800 block of 100th Street West, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.
Deputies responded to Blake Medical Center to interview the principals separately.
Both said they were preparing to play golf when he removed a small five-shot revolver from his pocket, dropped it and it discharged when it hit the floor, according to the report. The round grazed the woman on the side of her head and they drove together to the emergency room.
The victim was alert and talking and was going to be released after receiving treatment for the wound.
At this time, this incident appears accidental, according to the report.
On the golf course, no less. What a dumbass.

Louisville Kentucky Bar Fight Leads to Accidental Shooting

Local news reports

Police say a large bar fight spilled into the street early Sunday morning, resulting in an accidental shooting which sent a man to the hospital.

Alicia Smiley, a spokeswoman for the Louisville Metro Police Department, said a man was thrown through a window during a brawl at Happy Endings bar on 4th Street. He went to his car to get a gun, Smiley said, which went off accidentally when he was hit in the head.

The bullet struck a man in a nearby car, who was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.

States With the Highest and Lowest Rates of Gun Deaths



Hawaii has the lowest rate of gun deaths in the United States, while the District of Columbia has the highest, according to new research.

Over the past decade, deaths from gun-related violence -- including murders, suicides and unintentional shootings -- varied widely across the United States, the study revealed. Hawaii's rate was roughly three per 100,000 citizens. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the District of Columbia had the highest rate of gun deaths, with about 22 per 100,000 citizens.

Aside from geography, race/ethnicity also played a role in gun death rates. The national rate of gun deaths was twice as high among black people as it was among whites. The researchers noted, however, that the number of black people killed as a result of gun violence fell in seven states and the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, gun deaths involving white people fell in only four states.

Gun deaths among Hispanics also declined in four states, while gun deaths involving non-Hispanics increased in nine states, according to the study published online Sept. 18 in BMJ Open.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My thermonuclear device never killed anyone...

Quote of the day

We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns, see supra, at 54–55, and n. 26. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.
Scalia, DC v. Heller.

It's also not your place to reinterpret the US Constitution and trash centuries of legal precedent.  Remember, Judicial review is a custom, not an actual Constitutionally created power.  And the same source for Judicial Review says that "It cannot be presumed that any clause in the constitution is intended to be without effect." (Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 [1803])

Is this Freedom?

A friend shared this on Facebook. 

It relates to the manhunt for the person who killed Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson  and wounded Trooper Alex Douglass. 
I'm away from all this, but it really bothers me.

See also:
  • Police narrow search in manhunt for killer of Pa. state trooper |

God and Guns - No Biblical Grounds for Emphasis on Self-defense

Guns in Church
Pastor Ken Pagano of New Bethel Church in Louisville, Ky., talks about the importance of raising awareness of gun safety and the "Open Carry Church Service" he was planning at the church in 2009 in this file photo. Christians or Jews looking to the Bible for justification of a personal focus on self-defense won't find it in the Bible, say advocates of reasonable gun regulation during a panel on "God and Guns" at the 2014 Religion Newswriters Association's annual conference. (AP Photo/Aaron Borton, The Courier-Journal) (Aaron Borton)

AL dot com

"It's hard to articulate a strong Biblical case for a heavily armed society," said Professor David Gushee, a Christian ethicist at Mercer University. "That's not Biblical reasoning; that's cultural reasoning."

Rachel Laser, the deputy director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, was more blunt.
The indiscriminate support of gun rights in American society has become "the worship of idols," Laser said, "And that's blasphemy. For Jews, there is the biblical mandate from Leviticus: You don't stand by while your brother's blood is being shed."

5th-Grader Brings Granddad's Gun To School With List Of Student’s Names

Addicting Info

A fifth-grader at Kingsley Middle School located south of Traverse City, Michigan was found with a .25-caliber pistol last Monday. The pistol was loaded and strapped to the boy’s waist. The Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department say that the boy had a homework assignment with a list of student’s names written on the back. Some of the names on the list were misspelled or missing last names. The list seemed to show that the student intended to harm the students whose names he had written on the assignment, because of a  title that was written above the names, according to investigators. 

The boy stole the gun from his grandfather’s house, he admitted to police during questioning. The student also gave conflicting reasons why he brought the gun to school to investigators.

Kingsley Area Schools Superintendent Keith Smith said the list the student had brought was hard to understand.  “It’s obviously not consistent with what was brought to school,” Smith said. “A gun with one bullet doesn’t line up with a list of names, but you’ve still got to take it seriously. That’s why we turned it over to police.”

The student has been suspended for ten days, may face possible expulsion, and may also face charges in juvenile court for bringing a loaded firearm onto school property.

I suppose we have to consider granddad as a poor victim of theft.  He would have no responsibility at all in this incident. Right?

Tony Babino - L'Internationale

And while we're at it.

In 1944, to honor the Allied victory in Italy, the great Arturo Toscanini--a refugee from Fascisim in his home country--decided to conduct a performance of Verdi's "Hymn of the Nations". "Hymn" is a composition that Verdi orginally built around the national anthems of Britain, France, and Italy. In order to honor all four of the major Allies, Toscanini decided to add "The Star Spangled Banner" for the U.S. and "The Internationale" for the Soviet Union. The music was performed by the NBC Symphony Orchestra, with the Westminister Choir and the great tenor Jan Peerce as soloist; conducted by Toscanini. It was filmed as a featurette to be shown in movie theaters, and was narrated by Burgess Meredith.

In the early 50's, at the height of the Red Scare,U.S. censors excised the portion of this performance that featured the "Internationale".

For years the sequence in the original featurette was considered forever lost. But recently a copy of this missing piece of film was rediscovered, and now this rousing rendition of the Internationale--together with chorale and orchestra under the direction of a legendary conductor--can now be enjoyed again.

So, here's some anti-fascist music for you:

Are you really a constitutional militia?

This is how it works.

The Militia Clauses of the US Constitution provide the legal basis for "the militia" under the US Constitution.  They are Article I, Section 8, Clauses 15 & 16:
  • To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
  • To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
I know that people like to cite to 10 U.S.C. §311 (b)(2) and say they are part of something called the "unorganised militia".  This is in spite of the fact that the term "unorganised militia" should clue them in that it might not confer any privilege.  In fact, that is downright ignorant as Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 specifically mentions "organizing".

As has been pointed out, the concept of a militia is that it is somehow a "universal" military force, although even 10 U.S.C. §311 points out the exceptions to militia duty mentioned in 10 U.S.C. §313.  There have always been people who have been exempt.

We have often seen the following quote taken out of context:
Mr. GEORGE MASON. Mr. Chairman, a worthy member has asked who are the militia , if they be not the people of this country, and if we are not to be protected from the fate of the Germans, Prussians, &c., by our representation? I ask, Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor; but they may be confined to the lower and middle classes of the people, granting exclusion to the higher classes of the people. If we should ever see that day, the most ignominious punishments and heavy fines may be expected. Under the present government, all ranks of people are subject to militia duty. Under such a full and equal representation as ours, there can be no ignominious punishment inflicted. But under this national, or rather consolidated government, the case will be different. The representation being so small and inadequate, they will have no fellow-feeling for the people. They may discriminate people in their own predicament, and exempt from duty all the officers and lowest creatures of the national government. If there were a more particular definition of their powers, and a clause exempting the militia from martial law except when in actual service, and from fines and punishments of an unusual nature, then we might expect that the militia would be what they are. But, if this be not the case, we cannot say how long all classes of people will be included in the militia. There will not be the same reason to expect it, because the government will be administered by different people. We know what they are now, but know not how soon they may be altered.
This quote may be far more prescient than the people who like to misrepresent it care to think, since the militia has indeed become a "select" one.  If it wasn't one at the time the Constitution was written or even before.  As I have mentioned before, Adam Smith wrote in his Wealth of Nations that militias were indeed obsolete in the age of specialisation.   But, 18th Century gentlemen liked to think they were free of standing armies.

That of course is a digression. Not too far off of one though since the Unorganised militia is something of a conceit to say that there is the possibility of universal militia service with the unorganised militia serving as a draft pool should the organised militia not have enough manpower.  For example,  Alabama Code - Section 31-2-48:
The Governor shall, when ordering out the unorganized militia, designate the number. He may order them out either by call for volunteers or draft. The unorganized militia may be attached to the several organizations of the National Guard or Naval Militia, or organized into separate divisions, brigades, regiments, battalions, companies or detachments as the Governor may deem best for service. He shall appoint the commissioned officers and warrant officers in the same manner as provided in this chapter for the appointment of officers and warrant officers of the National Guard and Naval Militia.
Indiana Code - Section 10-16-6-2: Classes of militia is more specific about how their unorganised or Sedentary militia is to be applied:
The militia shall be divided into two (2) classes, the sedentary militia and the national guard, as follows:
(1) The sedentary militia consists of all persons subject to bear arms under the Constitution of the State of Indiana who do not belong to the national guard.
(2) The national guard consists of those able-bodied citizens between the proper ages as established by this article who may be enrolled, organized, and mustered into the service of the state as provided in this article. The organized militia of the state constitutes and shall be known as the Indiana national guard.
As added by P.L.2-2003, SEC.7.

The law also makes it clear that:
(a) The Indiana national guard consists of those units:
(1) specified by:
(A) the Secretary of the Army; and
(B) the Secretary of the Air Force; and
(2) approved by the governor.
The Alabama law isn't as clear that one needs to actually be enrolled, but they are allocated as the governor deems them necessary.

As  Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886) pointed out:
It is plain from this statement of the substance of the Military Code that the two sections upon which the indictment against the plaintiff in error is based may be separated from the residue of the Code, and stand upon their own independent provisions. These sections might have been left out of the [116 U.S. 252, 264]   Military Code and put in an act by themselves, and the act thus constituted and the residue of the Military Code would have been coherent and sensible acts. If it be conceded that the entire Military Code, except these sections, is unconstitutional and invalid, for the reasons stated by the plaintiff in error, these sections are separable, and, put in an act by themselves, could not be considered as forbidden by the clauses of the constitution having reference to the militia, or to the clause forbidding the states, without the consent of congress, to keep troops in time of peace. There is no such connection between the sections which prohibit any body of men, other than the organized militia of the state and the troops of the United States, from associating as a military company and drilling with arms in any city or town of the state, and the sections which provide for the enrollment and organization of the state militia, as makes it impossible to declare one, without declaring both, invalid. ...

We think it clear that the sections under consideration, which only forbid bodies of men to associate together as military organizations, or to drill or parade with arms in cities [116 U.S. 252, 265]   and towns unless authorized by law, do not infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms...
The right voluntarily to associate together as a military company or organization, or to drill or parade with arms, without, and independent of, an act of congress or law of the state authorizing the same, is not an attribute of national citizenship. Military organization and military drill and parade under arms are subjects especially under the control of the government of every country. They cannot be claimed as a right independent of law. Under our political system they are subject to the regulation and control of the state and federal governments, acting in due regard to their respective prerogatives and powers. The constitution and laws of the United States will be searched in vain for any support to the view that these rights are privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States independent of some specific legislation on the subject.
In other words, you may want to believe that you are part of "the" militia, but unless you are actually enrolled in a legally created and sanctioned organisation under the laws of your jurisdiction--you ain't the militia.

See also: