Tagged: NRA

Everyone but complete idjits now supports background checks for all gun buyers

More than nine out of 10 U.S. voters support background checks for gun buyers and almost as many say the mentally ill should be barred from buying guns.

A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found that gun owners are almost as likely as the general public to support background checks. And 89 percent of Republicans agree on the issue, only 3 percentage points lower than Democrats.

But only 50 percent said the country needs stricter laws to regulate guns, while 47 percent said they oppose such laws.

Which is a non sequitur.

“Americans are all in on stricter background checks on gun buyers and on keeping weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill,” said Tim Malloy, the Quinnipiac University Poll’s assistant director. “But when it comes to ‘stricter gun control,’ three words which prompt a negative reflex, almost half of those surveyed say ‘hands off.'”

After Adam Lanza killed his mother and 20 students and six teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and then took his own life, there were calls for stricter gun regulations. But the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups have lobbied successfully against new laws.

Lobbying – to describe what the NRA does – is a farce. The word is “threaten”. Money changes hands to cajole what faint conscience may exist in Congress. But, when the only question is “How high should I jump, boss?” – we’re only discussing athletic ability as a measure of cowardice.

Like civil rights and other questions requiring backbone, it will take a mighty grassroots movement to nudge most of our elected officials into an upright position.

BTW, the Quinnipiac poll is battling the Rasmussen poll for the position as cheapskate Republican poll – when they can’t afford Gallup. The tell on that is clear enough if you wander back to their numbers for Romney. So what? Even when conservative polls support sensible regulation of access to guns, the nutball fringe and their industry pimps in the NRA still scare Congress enough to stonewall action.

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Gaby Giffords rallies women on gun sense

gabrielle-giffords

Shooting victim and former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords sought on Wednesday to rally women behind her push for stricter U.S. gun laws.

Giffords spoke of the risks that women face from domestic violence and stalkers as she called for increased background checks for gun owners.

“Criminals who have guns, stalkers who have guns, abusers who have guns that make them violent are an issue – for mothers, for families, for me and you,” Giffords told a panel discussion held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington. “Women can lead the way…”

Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, who appeared with her at the panel event, mentioned that the couple own guns themselves, but they back increased background checks to “keep guns out of the hands of those who will stalk and abuse it.”

In April 2013, a handful of Senate Democrats joined Republicans to block a bill that would have expanded background checks to online and gun-show sales just four months after a mass elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut brought gun control issues back to the public debate.

The National Rifle Association gun rights lobby group had warned lawmakers that the background checks would lead to blah, blah, blah, blah…

Gun violence against women has been in the news after a shooter in Isla Vista, California, killed himself and six others and wounded 13 near the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara in May. Shooter Elliot Rodger had emailed plans to several people beforehand, stating his intention to get revenge on women for rejecting him.

The Isla Vista dipshit is representative of the distorted personalities who can pick up a carfull of firearms and ammo at his favorite neighborhood gun shop easy as pie. I live in a state where even the simple process of registration hasn’t been implemented – regardless of how it might aid recovery of guns after theft, though it would aid police departments in establishing an ownership trail.

Then, the mediocre federal non-rules kick in – especially those exempting so-called gun shows from existing law. Another instance where our politicians demonstrate the leadership of someone trying above all else to avoid any responsibility – and our voters exhibit the understanding and courage of a slug seeking enlightenment in a salt mine.

A map of every school shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre

There have been 74 school shootings since Adam Lanza’s infamous assault on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut — and, as this map shows, they’ve happened all over the country.

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Shootings at K-12 schools in red, at colleges/universities in purple – Click to enlarge

The data comes from Everytown for Gun Safety, a recently formed gun control advocacy group. Everytown defines school shooting as “assaults, homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings” that take place “inside a school building or on school or campus grounds.” Huffington Post editor Mark Gongloff mapped Everytown’s data and tweeted it out.

It’s hard to find statistically reliable research about school shootings, but there’s no doubt gun violence is still a serious problem in America. Despite the fact that the gun homicide death has declined substantially in the past two decades, about 11,000 Americans are still killed every year in firearm homicides. About 19,000 die in gun suicides.

That’s a much higher rate than anywhere else in the developed world. The causes are complicated, but there’s mounting evidence that America’s loose gun laws contribute to both the suicide and homicide problem.

What is there to say? I hear myself, time and again. The map averages one school shooting a week since Sandy Hook.

I’ve been a gun owner for decades. I come from an extended family where many of us worked in trades associated with guns. We all understand the dangers associated with broadcast unregulated access to firearms. It’s satisfactory only to the stupid or ignorant. Take your pick.

Gun nut rampage – couple murders two coppers and a WalMart shopper in Las Vegas

saluting dead comrades
Click to enlarge

The man and woman suspected in Sunday’s Las Vegas shopping center attack that left two police officers and a shopper dead often talked about killing officers and didn’t believe in the government, a neighbor says.

“They always talked about murdering cops,” neighbor Krista Koch told ABC affiliate KTNV-TV…”They were going to kill as many officers as they can, and then they were going to do away with themselves.”

Investigators searched an apartment overnight believed to be related to the shooting, trying to uncover clues about the midday attack. Police are looking into the couple’s links to the white supremacy movement after finding swastika symbols during their initial investigation…

Investigators say the man and woman, armed with guns and ammunition, walked into a CiCi’s Pizza Restaurant, where they opened fire on officers Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31.

Police say one officer fired back, but both died from their injuries.

Sheree Burns, who witnessed the shooting, says the officers didn’t stand a chance

The pair then fled across the street to a Walmart, where the male suspect reportedly yelled, “Everyone get out.” Shots rang out inside the store at 11:27 a.m. By then police were already on the scene. A third victim was found dead inside the store’s front door.

Police say the man and woman then went to the back of the store, where they killed themselves in an apparent suicide pact. The female suspect reportedly shot the male suspect, then took her own life…

“It’s a tragic day, it’s a very, very difficult day,” Sheriff Doug Gillespie said at a news conference. “But we still have a community to police, and we still have a community to protect. We will be out there doing it with our heads held high, but with emptiness in our hearts.”

It’s always useful to see the Board of Directors of the NRA/Tea Party get out in public.

Yeah, that’s a smartass remark. What else? You know about the nutball gun culture in the United States. This is just one more time I’m embarrassed by creeps who turn their reliance on firearms as a substitute for real achievements – into death. Embarrassed because I’ve been a gun owner, an occasional hunter, for decades.

My family has worked in the firearms industry more often than any other. Growing up in Connecticut – the arsenal of America – that’s where employment was most often available. But, even the most conservative members of my extended family never turned out to be the kind of crazies that dominate the NRA, the Tea Party, the most paranoid cowards in the history of American libertarianism.

Las Vegas coppers suggest this couple had ties to racist politics – and that fits as well. The new Confederacy still prides itself on bigotry even with their adoption of the diplomatic use of code words instead of traditional hatespeak. I imagine if you spend Friday night in a country-western bar in Mississippi, Texas or Arizona – you’ll hear the good ol’ boys at their traditional best.

Oh, and you can expect the public dregs of our rightwing to busy themselves immediately making excuses, trying to turn these thugs into heroes. I expect we’ll all hear the predictable line from Fox News to The Blaze by midday.

Exploding targets banned in more national forests

The Northern Region of the U.S. Forest Service has banned exploding targets on public land under its jurisdiction, saying the targets have caused 16 wildfires across the West over the past two years at a cost of $33 million to taxpayers.

Regional Forester Faye Krueger announced the ban Tuesday, citing concerns over public safety and the wildfire threat. It covers all national forests in Montana, Idaho, North Dakota and the South Dakota grasslands…

The targets are popular among long-range shooters and can be legally purchased on the market. They consist of two separate compounds, including ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder, that become explosive when mixed.

While the powders are legal in their separate packets, they’re classified as an explosive by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives once mixed. The targets explode when struck by a high-impact device, such as a bullet…

Other Forest Service regions have already enacted the ban, including the Pacific Northwest Region and the Rocky Mountain Region…

Sammon said the Northern Region closure goes into effect immediately. Those who violate the order face a $5,000 fine and six months in prison.

“I don’t see where someone can argue against visitor or recreational shooting safety,” said Phil Sammon, a spokesman for the Northern Region. He probably is old enough to remember when the NRA taught gun safety and wilderness skills – instead of stupid.

Thanks, Mike

Still waiting for millions of nutballs – Operation American Spring flops big time!

Operation American Spring, the mass D.C. rally aiming to force several top government officials — including the president — to resign, spent a portion of its first day at the capital assuring people tuning into its livestream that more people are on the way. The protest’s lead organizer, Harry Riley, promised 10 million to 30 million people would show up for his event…

Friday’s crowd appeared to be in the dozens to hundreds…

This, understandably, has caused a lot of schadenfreude among those who might not care too much for militia-style anti-government groups — the organizers set expectations for this rally astronomically high, and their turnout was even worse than we thought it was going to be. Weirdly, the only people who might understand how the Operation American Spring people my feel right now — virtually everyone who trekked to D.C. is a true believer, to be sure — might be the early Occupy Wall Street organizers who were there on the first day of the protests in 2011. They, too, had a crowd of just hundreds at first, after advertising a mass rally for months. But Occupy, at least temporarily, became something bigger. There are no signs at this point that Operation American Spring will become something too.

One of the Texas-based organizers for the protest put it this way to the Washington Times: “This is a very poor turnout. It ain’t no millions. And it ain’t looking like there’s going to be millions. Hundreds is more like it.”

That’s in part because of the hard-to-swallow rhetoric present at the Operation American Spring camp, and in part because the rally based its entire plan of action on the assumption that about 10 million people would show up, at the very least. How do you have 1 million people occupy the capital when about 250 show up, total..?

Our perpetual question is easy to answer, this morning. Ignorant or stupid?

I’d say dumber than a hoe-handle! No one in America believes the crap they think is gospel

Nutballs attack memorials to victims of Sandy Hook shootings

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A playground honoring a seven-year-old victim of the Sandy Hook School massacre in Connecticut was vandalized by a man who told the girl’s mother in a phone call just days before Mother’s Day that the shootings were a “hoax” and her daughter never existed…

Police are investigating the theft of a 50lb vinyl sign from a playground in Mystic, Connecticut, dedicated to first-grader Grace McDonnell, who was gunned down with her classmates in 2012.

“It’s sick that some people would do something this horrific to a family already so traumatized,” said Bill Lavin, who is organizing the effort to build 26 playgrounds to commemorate the 20 children and six adults killed in the shooting spree on 14 December 2012…

The theft in Mystic marked the second act of vandalism at Connecticut playgrounds honoring Sandy Hook victims. Just days earlier, vandals spray-painted graffiti on a sign at a playground in Hartford that is dedicated to first-grader Anna Grace Marquez-Greene.

The sign in the Mystic playground named to honor Grace McDonnell on 27 April included a peace symbol based on her artwork…

“We’ve been getting calls from people around the country who are outraged and have already sent enough in donations that we will put up more signs and billboards with the message to ‘Live Grace-Fully’ in honor of Grace,” Lavin said. Lavin said the vandalism was discovered after the man phoned Lynn McDonnell, Grace’s mother, early last week “to tell her he took the sign because it was all a hoax”.

OK, I agree. There are scumbags slinking around this country who should be locked up forever. Incommunicado.

After all, their brains have been closed for a long, long time.

Fearing for his store, defying death threats, embattled gun dealer sleeps there


Brutus – and Andy Raymond

After word spread that his Rockville store would sell the nation’s first smart gun — infuriating gun rights activists who fear more regulation — Andy Raymond’s phone and e-mail inbox went absolutely berserk…

That’s because gun rights advocates think the guns will be mandated. Electronic chips in the Armatix iP1 can communicate with a watch that can be bought separately. Then the gun cannot be fired without the watch.

Somebody told one of Raymond’s workers that the store, Engage Armament, wouldn’t be selling the gun because there wouldn’t be a store — it will burn down.

Followed by death threats.

Even the store’s dog Brutus did not escape the vitriol.

Raymond was clearly shaken, and late Thursday night, he released a video saying he wouldn’t sell the gun and apologized for messing up. He also wrote a message on his Facebook page: “You call me and email me and threaten my life? You come at me, my girlfriend, or my god damned DOG I will put one in your dome. I promise you.”

And then he decided to sleep at the store. He stayed til 3 a.m., then went home, and then came back at 6 a.m. to stand guard….

…“I can’t have my shop burned down. I don’t think somebody is gonna come shoot me, but somebody could burn down my shop while I’m not here.”

The dementia of gun nuts vs ordinary lifelong gun owners, hunters, hobbyists, etc. is now out in the open.

I come from a family where three generations worked in the firearms industry – from managing one of the largest firearms factories in the United States to lead prototype gunsmithing for both civilian and military design for decades. No one in my family would advocate the violence of these nutballs threatening Mr. Raymond.

I’ve owned handguns, rifles and shotguns for over sixty years – and I’m embarrassed because someone might count me in alongside these paranoid fools.

They deserve nothing less than contempt – and maybe institutional care.

Gun safety campaigns merge to form grassroots approach

background checks

A new gun control campaign backed by $50 million from former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged on Wednesday to focus its efforts outside Washington, claiming to be the first nationwide movement to rival the National Rifle Association.

Despite initial attention on wealthy backers such as Bloomberg and Warren Buffett, leaders of the group, Everytown For Gun Safety, insisted their strategy differs from previous attempts at reform because they would seek to influence politicians through grassroots campaigning rather than primarily by lobbying Congress…

The two groups merging to form Everytown – Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – already have 34,000 smaller donors, insisted Feinblatt, who rejects the top-down characterisation of the group by its opponents.

Everytown aims to grow the groups’ combined membership from 1.5m to 2.5m over the next year, through a range of initiatives from a traditional political action committee through to “stroller jams” and “diaper-dumps” outside city hall offices, said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action…

A year ago on Thursday, attempts to pass limited background checks on gun buyers fell five votes short of the 60 needed to make progress in the US Senate despite a wave of national revulsion following the Newtown shooting.

All but three of the 45 senators who blocked passage of the bill had received campaign contributions from firearms lobbyists, and they raised record sums from their members and gun manufacturers in the months following Newtown.

But senators who voted against last year’s background check bill, particularly four rebel Democrats, fear the negative political consequences of crossing the NRA far more than direct campaign contributions.

Some of this is due to spending on attack ads against reformers running in conservative states, but Everytown concedes much of it is also due to the effective political mobilisation of gun rights campaigners.

The ideologues who think they can maintain their position of prominence and control of political hacks – Congressional and closer to home – are whistling in the dark. If they had brains to match their hubris they might look around their Conservative Fortress and wonder what ever happened to the George Wallace Brigade, the Birchers who pledged a battle to the death against miscegenation, the much larger Legions of Christian Wrath defending biblical definitions of marriage [other than polygamy, ahem]?

Will the conflict between good sense and regulation for safe ownership of firearms on one hand versus nutball fanatics who believe every felon has as much right to a gun as the cops trying to arrest them – last for years? You betcha. In the end, will generations growing up in mainly urban and urbane America find politics which needs a Beretta to have balls, an Uzi to protect a uterus – to be nothing more than demented? You betcha.

That’s the confidence side of my cynicism.