Archive for the ‘GUn Lobby’ Category

Gun Control Irony

Yeah, yeah. I try not to post this stuff on my blog, but this one is pretty important.  It was posted on Penigma, but I want my other post to get a few more views before this shows up again on that blog.

On the other hand, this needs to get out there.  That said:

It would be really ironic if instead of all the mass shootings the US has suffered (my condolences to the victims and their families of those), that the incident that caused people to realise the US needs gun control is an out of control suburban mother fighting over a notebook in a suburban Wal-Mart.

No, pulling a gun in this situation is not self-defence by any stretch of the imagination.  No one was fearing death or serious bodily injury which would justify even the threat of deadly force.

The woman pulling the gun is committing Felony Assault under Michigan law, Section 750.82.

The offense of Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW), is also known as Felonious Assault in Michigan. ADW is felony which is punishable by up to 4 years in prison. ADW is a crime which involves an assault with a deadly weapon (such as a gun or knife) or any other instrumentality which is fashioned or used as a weapon (car, club, bottle) which is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death. A criminal charge or conviction does not require actual physical contact or an injury. The offense is considered complete upon placing another in fear of an assault by a person who possesses a deadly weapon

Michigan law requires that the defendant “must have honestly and reasonably believed that he or she was in danger of being killed, seriously injured or sexually assaulted” in order to use deadly force.  Additionally, the defendant “may only use as much force as he or she thinks is necessary at the time to protect himself or herself.”

While a person may believe he or she had acted in self-defense, the police, prosecutor, judge and jury may disagree.

No shots need to be fired for her to be found guilty.

I’m not sure how the “pro-gun” crowd can defend this action.  I know responsible gun owners don’t, but it’s time they stepped up to the plate and admitted this shit happens too often with the relaxing of concealed carry law for it to be condoned.

It’s time to give Presser v Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 6 S.Ct. 580, 29 L.Ed. 615 (1886) yet another plug.

One of the many failings of the Heller-McDonald bullshit is that those cases were not cases of first impression, but that post is coming in the future.

See also:

What Does Brandishing Mean? And Why You Should Never Do It…

The Last Hand Gun On Earth

Take an old movie serial, add a new voice over by the Firesign Theatre and you have some very funny stuff.  In this case, the gun loon’s nightmare: Big Brother’s henchmen come for the last handgun on earth.

“To think people used to sleep with these things under their pillows.”

Prof. Simon Chapman’s Over Our Dead Bodies: Port Arthur and the Fight for Gun Control – Australia’s last gun massacre is now a free E-book

Prof. Simon Chapman’s Over Our Dead Bodies: Port Arthur and the Fight for Gun Control – Australia’s last gun massacre is now a free E-book and available at the following link:

http://bit.ly/YZtHQ2

I strongly suggest that anyone who is involved in the US gun violence/gun control movement read this book.  Australia’s political climate surrounding this issue at the time of the Port Arthur Massacre was eerily similar to that of the US, yet the Australians were able to cut through the non-sense and enact serious and effective gun control laws.

This is a valuable lesson for people who want to see similar laws in the US.

This book is really about the workings of the media, the use of lobbying, and the skills of advocacy. So pick a day when you are tired of dealing with the aftermath of ignored public health issues and read this ripping yarn, arm yourself with the tools it offers, and be ready to go into battle.

Less than a day since I did my last post…

And there is yet another mass shooting in the US.  ‘Seven killed’ in Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting!

Maybe gun control won’t stop mass killings, but not having gun control definitely doesn’t stop them!  In fact, looking at the past 230 odd years of the US being an indepndent country, we have seen that it is a highly violent and blood thirsty country.

WhoWhatWhy has an interesting piece about mass shootings:

One of the most striking things about shooting incidents in America…is how common they are. Another striking thing is how often the media fails to note the previous point, or to explore what that means—or what might be done about it.

Late last night, a gunman walked into a movie theater in a Denver suburb, killed 12 and injured 50. Two days earlier a gunman opened fire outside a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in an incident in which at least 17 were hurt. These were not really so exceptional. Every year, about 100,000 Americans are victims of gun violence, and every week, people calmly enter our schools, our workplaces, our leisure gathering spots and open fire on innocent bystanders.

Whenever we tweet or post about these, often the only people we hear from are those who say we need more guns not less. “If I had been there with my gun….” The problem, of course, is the public at large is being asked to arm everyone and trust that, while the rest of us cower, “the right people” will quickly dispatch “the wrong people” in the modern equivalent of the Shootout at the OK Corral. No mention of whether the teacher is supposed to be armed…when a nut walks into a preschool and starts firing away.

Given that there have been 125 Mass Killings since Columbine, you think some serious solutions would be mentioned, yet it seems that there is the consistent response of inaction, or worse, the loosening of restrictions which make it easier for these incidents to happen.

Unfortunately, a realistic discussion of this aspect of US life never happens while the bodycount keeps rising.  Instead, we keep hearing that the US needs more guns, but that is the cause of the problem.

Man with a plan

This is a graphic of the gear that, James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado shooter had on him during his shooting spree:

This graphic can be found at:  http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/25/graphic-james-holmes-was-a-man-with-a-plan/

If you consider that at least three of the last big mass shooting incidents were  done by someone who bought his gun LEGALLY (Virginia Tech’s Seung-Hui Cho, Tucson’s Jared Laughner, and Aurora’s James Holmes), you would think that some alarms would be going off in people’s heads in the US.  Yet, the usual reaction of  “oh, there’s nothing that can be done about this sort of thing” is once again to be heard.

Sure, there will be some people talking about actually doing something about firearms, but it will once again go quiet once all the outrage dies out.  That is quite a difference from how these incidents are handled in other parts of the world–especially one’s that share a heritage with the US.  Hugerford saw a tightening of UK gun laws, Dunblane led to pretty much  all handguns being taken from private possession in the UK, And The Port Arthur incident saw Australia’s gun laws tighten up intensely in less than a year.  But, the US averages 20 mass shootings a year.   The Brady Campaign has a tally of these since 2005.

Mother Jones has an interactive map of mass shootings in the US since 1982.  Some estimate the figure to have been 125 Mass Killings since Columbine: I don’tthink the number is that low.  Mother Jones found that out of the 132 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally. The arsenal included dozens of assault weapons and high-powered handguns. (See charts below.) Just as Jeffrey Weise used a .40-caliber Glock to massacre students in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, so too did James Holmes when blasting away at his victims in a darkened movie theater.   Mother Jones also found that half of the cases involved school or workplace shootings (11 and 17, respectively); the other 28 cases took place in locations including shopping malls, restaurants, government buildings, and military bases. Only one of the killers was a woman. (See Goleta, Calif., in 2006.)

Of course, that is a limited guide to mass shootings since very few people have an accurate grasp on how much firearms harm society, and that’s the way the gun lobby would like it.  Like the climate denial crowd, they want to flood the marketplace of ideas with shit science.  The fact that the NRA is so terrified of correct and accurate numbers being collected that they obstruct any legislative attempt to do so is as clear a red flag that they know an informed public will not follow, support or agree with them as you could ask for as an indicator of a serious problem.  But, like climate change, the truth is out there (I give a pitch for this blog) if one is willing to sift through an internet filled with loads of bullshit.

Fact is, the carnage has been going on at least since the 1978, but probably much longer, yet no one wants to do anything about it.  There is too much fantasy out there about people being able to outshoot the gunman, which is total crap in this case since they would have had to do it through a haze of tear gas.  Unfortunately, it is the fantasy which will win out in all this as it always has seemed to have done in recent years.

But, as the graphic says: “By looking closely at Holmes’ ammunition and equipment, it becomes clear the attack at the movie theatre could have been much worse.”  The question is when will it be so bad that people in the US will finally feel some outrage at the carnage happening around them and say enough?

More on hoplophobia

It was made up by Jeff Cooper who gave us the four rules of gun safety and the combat mindset. So, is he saying that we shouldn’t be concerned if we see someone carrying a firearm? I think this goes to point of VPC’s study Unintended Consequences where Pro-Handgun Experts Prove That Handguns Are a Dangerous Choice for Self-defence. In other words, the candid voices of pro-handgun experts and exposes through expert opinion the gun industry’s lies about the illusory benefits of handguns for self-defence.

First off, this “condition is not recognised in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (AKA DSM). It is probably unlikely to be recognised as a condition as well, despite the efforts of the people who like to use this terms efforts to get it in there. This would be due to the fact that most of the medical community is aware that the risk of harm from pistols and revolvers that is demonstrated year after year in America’s unparalleled handgun death and injury rates.

Irrational Fear? This term came from Jeff Cooper the person who gave us the four rules of gun safety and the colour coded combat mindset. The first two rules of gun safety are:

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)

Rule number 2 is the most important for this critique since it concedes that guns are destructive devices. Unfortunately, the fact that guns when used properly can cause serious injury or death is one of the things the folk who tend to use this term would prefer to neglect—in particular, the person who created the term.

Is he saying that we see someone we don’t know carrying a firearm and not see the possibility of a threat? Is he saying that guns don’t deserve at least a shred of respect for their capacity to cause injury or death?

Spot the inconsistency!

Before I leave this, I should say that no one has addressed Cooper’s inconsistencies in that he has his little colour coded combat mindset and points out that guns are indeed lethal, or at least destructive with his four rules of gun safety.

YET…

He would call people who are concerned about those who would carry firearm in a civilian setting hoplophobes.

Instead he wants people to walk around in condition white about someone who is carrying a deadly weapon:

 “Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be “Oh my God! This can’t be happening to me.”

But the ultimate absurdity is that Cooper taught COMBAT firearms use.  In fact, the colour coded mindset was expounded upon in a book called Principles of Personal Defense and refers to the states of awareness in combat, or the combat mindset

People who have served in the military, especially in combat arms and are quite used to the presence of weapons know the difference between war zones and civilian life. Being in the military is different from being in a civilian population. And that is a rational consideration, not mental illness. The civilian environment does not have life threatening danger around every corner. It is not a combat zone.

Civilian life is not combat. You would have thought a battle hardened marine like Cooper would have caught on to that fact. One usually does not encounter weapons in a Civil Society which is at peace.

So,which is it, are you tryiing to create a society where it is considered normal to be in a combat state of awareness?

Or do you live in a society where there is peace and laws?

Are you a hoplophobe?

I have to admit this is one of the most idiotic terms I have ever heard, yet it is repeatedly used to castigate those who support gun control.  I have devised this simple test to determine if you are a hoplophobe or not:

A madman is pointing a large firearm at you (e.g., 12 Bore riot-shotgun with 00 buckshot, Desert eagle .44 with hollow points and laser sighting device, or something else of your choice which would most likely seriously harm, if not kill,  you).  He is far enough away that any attempt to disarm this person would be futile.  Likewise, any attempt to pull a weapon would be met with his (or her) getting in at least a shot that would probably result in your being hurt, if not killed.

Are you:

  1. Afraid
  2. Not at all scared since you know full well that guns are not harmful in anyway, especially not in the hands of the insane or criminals, and you could not be hurt no matter how lethal the weapon or good the person’s holding its aim.

I am sure those gunloons out there will say that they have no fear and fit squarely into category 2.

Whereas anyone with a shred of sense would be afraid and say 1.

This is why the discussion of gun violence in the United States makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  “Gun rights” advocates place themselves and others in this situation through their policies, yet want to imply those who oppose them are in some way not sensible.

If gun violence is senseless, it’s because there are people who won’t do anything about it.

I was at Ohh Shoot and saw the current post: Homecoming queen unintentionally shot and killed at fraternity house.

Now, the usual line is that victims of gun violence are criminal scum, but that doesn’t appear to be the case with this particular victim.

One caption about this incident read that Ashley Cowie was Standout Student at St. Johns Country Day School.

OK, I know that journalists can distort the victims of crime, but that doesn’t appear to be true in this case. Ashley was truly a good person who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“She was a young woman of great promise.”

And the gun owner was a 20 year old student who had been drinking. According to the news reports he was showing off the flashlight on his AR-15 when it went off.

He didn’t know it was loaded.

The only thing which is senseless about the gun violence problem in the US is the fact that no one is willing to address the issue.  In fact, the answer these days is to get more firearms out on the streets.

Yet another life cut short because people are willing to tolerate the relaxation of firearms laws.  They tolerate irresponsible behaviour in the name of freedom.

The problem isn’t that gun control isn’t working–there is no significant gun control in the US.  And the laws are getting weaker.

And people like Ashley are dying.

For real stupidity see: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/ashley-cowie-20-killed-in-shooting-at-fsu-frat-house

Rachel Maddow on Mass Shootings

I strongly suggest the post Important Data Trends the NRA Doesn’t Want You To Know

Where’s the NRA? [from Commongunsense}
So where is the NRA in our national discussion about the Tucson shootings? Nowhere as far as I can see. Have they been on Fox News? Have they been on ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC? No. Have they made any commentaries in our national newspapers about the shootings? No. I watched this morning as Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke was interviewed by MSNBC hosts Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie. It was stated several times that the NRA was asked to appear but had refused. The invitation was issued by Todd that they could come on any time. Why won’t the NRA show up to talk about the recent carnage in Tucson caused by bullets?

What would they say?
Would they want to talk about the law in Arizona that allows anyone over 21 to carry a loaded gun in public?
Would they want to talk about the fact that Jared Loughner was carrying a semi-automatic weapons with several ammunition clips containing more than 30 bullets each?
Would they want to talk about how they lobbied hard and successfully to allow the Assault Weapons Ban to lapse in 2004? Would they want to talk about the fact that those same ammunition clips were banned from import and manufacture under the Assault Weapons Ban?
Would they want to talk about why any law abiding citizen needs to have ammunition clips that are designed to kill many people at once?
Would they want to talk about the fact that someone as mentally unstable as Loughner can easily purchase any kind of gun he wants under our nation’s lax gun laws?
Would they want to talk about the fact that the fear perpetrated by the NRA’s continued mantra that President Obama will take away your guns has resulted in a 60% increase in Arizona sales of the same Glock pistol used in the Tucson shootings?

Freedom is not being held at gunpoint.

On 29 January 1979, the song I don’t Like Mondays was written about a school shooting at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California where the shooter’s explanation for her actions was “I don’t like Mondays; this livens up the day.”

Unlike other Britain and former British Colonies, nothing is done about mass shootings and assassinations.  Here is a list of assassinated US Politicians and attempts on the Presidents since 1980:

Allard Lowenstein (1980) – Ex-congressman from New York
Russell G. Lloyd Sr. (1980) – Ex-mayor  of Evansville, Ind.
Ed King (1986) – Mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Robert Smith Vance (1989) – U.S. federal judge
Tommy Burks (1998) – Tennessee State Senator
Derwin Brown (2000) – Sheriff-elect of DeKalb County, Ga.
James E. Davis (2003) – New York City Councilman
Bill Gwatney (2008) – Chairman  of Arkansas Democratic Party
John Thornton (2010) – Mayor of Washington Park, Ill.
John Roll (2011) – U.S. Federal Judge

Ronald Reagan (1981)
George H. W. Bush (1993 – thwarted mid-attempt)
Bill Clinton (Twice in 1994, 2006)
George W. Bush (Twice in 2001, 2005, 2008 – 2001 and 2008 attempts foiled mid-attempt)
Barack Obama (2008 – attempt thwarted at plotting stage)

No other country with a population of over 50 million has had as high a number of political assassinations or attempted assassinations (Compare to UK). The same thing can be said about mass shootings such as Coumbine, Virginia Tech, and the Gifford Assassination attempt where Judge Roll was assassinated.  Maybe it’s because other countries have gun control.

On the other hand, no other country has lax firearms laws that allow for people who are mentally disturbed to have access to firearms.  To quote Bill Mann:

“Any country with as many mentally ill people as the U.S. that allows virtually unlimited access to handguns is on a suicide mission.”

If the US carnage from gun violence is the cost of freedom–I’ll take the alternative.

I think that a society where one doesn’t have to worry about whether some lunatic is packing heat with the ability to kill a vast amount of people is one which is free. Unfortunately, people in the US know that they can be shot in the back of their mind. On the other hand, they attribute mystic properties to firearms which are unrealistic.

After all, where were all the armed citizens to stop the assassination of Judge Roll and attempt on Gabrielle Giffords?

(Oh dear, there was one: Armed Giffords hero nearly shot wrong man–Joe Zamudio rushed to the scene and saw a man with a gun — but he wasn’t the shooter )

Let’s hope this is the year people wake up to the lies of the US gun lobby.

Stupid gun arguments

I have to admit that people on the “pro-gun” side tend to be fairly clueless and miss the obvious.

Yes, criminals not only DON’T register their firearms–THEY CAN’T. That’s the whole idea–the criminal is arrested and is charged with possession of an unregistered firearm. They aren’t able to register their gun and THEY GO TO JAIL!

Get the idea, or are you still too stupid?

Over at Commongunsense they are having the old drunks and cars debate. If someone is inebreated and is driving, they are breaking the law and they lose their licence to drive. They might even serve some time in jail!

A drunk on public transporation is annoying–a drunk driving a car is a danger to society.

Anyway, I like this article by Peter Wheeland from the 26 Aug 10 Montreal Gazette which I am copiously citing since pro-gun people are too stupid to spot citations. It concerns how idiotic their arguments are.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/register+your+guns/3444385/story.html

You register your car -why not guns?

By PETER WHEELAND, The Gazette August 26, 2010

There’s a very good chance that a private member’s bill will be adopted by Parliament within weeks that would abolish the registry of rifles and shotguns owned by Canadians.

Imagine, if you will, the average car owner trying to use the same arguments as gun owners for refusing to register their weapons, to fight storage regulations and to push for dismantling the gun registry.

The following arguments were lifted from numerous pro-gun blogs and websites about the long-gun registry and little was changed except weapons were transformed into vehicles, bullets into car keys.

– ¦ “Cars don’t kill people, people kill people.”

– ¦ “Criminals won’t register their cars, they’ll just go out and steal them or smuggle them into the country.”

– ¦ “Forcing me to keep my car and car keys separate when I’m not using them is stupid. What if there’s a fox in my field and I have to run into the house to get my keys so I can go run the fox over? By the time I get my keys, he’ll be gone. Yet if I leave my keys in the car and some kid steals it and kills someone with it, they think I’m the one acting irresponsibly! That’s crazy!”

– ¦ “Ninety per cent of car crimes are committed with sports cars, not SUVs, so why should SUV owners by forced to register their vehicles?”

– ¦ “The car registry penalizes the majority of vehicle owners, who are law-abiding citizens, by imposing bureaucratic procedures and fees on them, as well as making them vulnerable to prosecution for failing to register their cars.”

– ¦ “If a lunatic decides to take a bunch of people out, it really won’t matter to him whether or not the car is registered.”

– ¦ “It’s not the fear of registering cars, it’s the cost for each car, plus the hassle you have to go through. Plus you have to take a driver safety course in order to get a permit to drive the car. I’ve been driving without a licence all my life, why should I have to take a safety course? My dad taught me everything I need to know.”

– ¦ “The original cost of implementing the registry was estimated at approximately $120 million, with most of the costs being covered by registration fees. Subsequent reviews, however, have shown the actual cost to be closer to $2 billion.”

Well, it’s hard to argue with that last point. Setting up the registry was enormously, ridiculously expensive. The only way to recoup that $2 billion is, obviously, to scrap the registry.

Yes, yes, that argument doesn’t make much sense, either.

But don’t forget that this is the same government that spend $1.1 billion on the G8 and G20 summits without worrying about what five days’ worth of talks would cost, nor were they worried that the expense (not to mention the criminal trials for 300 protesters) would produce nothing of benefit in its wake.

It’s the same government that wants to spend $9 billion to expand the prison system because of a rise in “unreported crime.”

The same government that wants to increase the cost of conducting the census by $30 million because of privacy complaints that, well, are so private that no one has heard of them.

The same government whose only other major privacy concern has been that Canadians not be allowed to obtain information about MPs’ expenses and that journalists making Access to Information requests get only documents with all of the nouns and adjectives blacked out.

It’s the same government that promotes a “law and order” agenda yet refuses to listen to the unanimous position of the Association of Police Chiefs on the usefulness of the long-gun registry,

Laws don’t kill democracy, politicians do.

Peter Wheeland is a Montreal writer, Gazette copy editor, and owner of a proudly registered car.
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/register+your+guns/3444385/story.html#ixzz17wTUYvBi

YANKS WITH GUNS!

I’ve been wanting to post Captain Sensible’s “Yanks with Guns” for some time.  This video is rubbish, but it gets the point across.

Yanks with guns
Say shooting people is such fun
It Makes me smile
To do the business

Why doesn’t this sound like a joke?

Maybe it’s because the “pro-gun” crowd really does sound like this Onion News clip.

Interesting quote

“The rule of the gun is the greatest obstacle to everlasting peace and security in our country.”

Mr. Hamid Karzai, the Head of the interim government of Afghanistan.

That about says it all…

Or the “Gun control means hitting your target”.