Category Archives: guns

More f-r-e-e-d-o-m

I hope there’s a reporter standing outside Wayne LaPierre’s house to get a comment on this latest proof of the wonders of f-r-e-e-d-o-m. Today it was Milwaukee.

At least seven people were killed, including one shooter, just after 10 a.m. Sunday at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, police said.

We can’t fix ourselves, but we can mourn ourselves

Along with John Stewart, the venerable parody publication The Onion knows how to get right into the rotten, bankrupt heart of some stories – as they’ve done in this case, pointing to the real horror of yet another gun massacre.

WASHINGTON—Americans across the nation confirmed today that, unfortunately, due to their extreme familiarity with the type of tragedy that occurred in a Colorado movie theater last night, they sadly know exactly how the events following the horrific shooting of 12 people will unfold.

While admitting they “absolutely hate” the fact they have this knowledge, the nation’s 300 million citizens told reporters they can pinpoint down to the hour when the first candlelight vigil will be held, roughly how many people will attend, how many times the county sheriff will address the media in the coming weeks, and when the town-wide memorial service will be held.

Additionally, sources nationwide took no pleasure in confirming that some sort of video recording, written material, or disturbing photographs made by the shooter will be surfacing in about an hour or two.

“I hate to say it, but we as Americans are basically experts at this kind of thing by now,” said 45-year-old market analyst Jared Gerson, adding that the number of media images of Aurora, CO citizens crying and looking shocked is “pretty much right in line with where it usually is at this point.” “The calls not to politicize the tragedy should be starting in an hour, but by 1:30 p.m. tomorrow the issue will have been politicized. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the shooter’s high school classmate is interviewed within 45 minutes. . . .

. . . “Oh, and here’s another thing I hate I know,” Brennen continued, “In exactly two weeks this will all be over and it will be like it never happened.

It goes on. In the same issue (today’s), they also bring us this story,

NRA: ‘Please Try To Remember All The Wonderful Things Guns Do For Us Every Day’

“While the events of last night are truly tragic, I sincerely hope that no one at any point forgets how truly terrific guns are, and how they enrich all of our lives on a regular basis,” said NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, adding that the nation’s citizens must open up their hearts in this time of mourning and realize how simply unlivable a life without gun ownership would be.

Aurora. Shit. Again.

TBogg tweets for me.

Suck on this ALEC. Your day is passing.

Sometimes the blinders are lifted. And sometimes people do the right thing. ALEC is bleeding members. Really important members. Take that you damn NRA.

Now maybe a few of our State legislatures might try writing laws themselves again, if they haven’t forgotten how.

Five more companies, including Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), the No. 1 computer maker, have left the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) since the Feb. 26 killing of Trayvon Martin, 17, in Sanford, Fla

ALEC is a Washington, D.C.-based group that lobbies for laws in state legislatures, including the “stand your ground” law. George Zimmerman, 28, who’s been charged with second-degree murder in the case, has cited the law as part of his defense.

The others to resign are CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE), private MillerCoors LLC and BestBuy (NYSE: BBY), respective giants in drugstores, tractors, beer and electronics retailing.

Last month, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), the No. 3 PC maker, quit ALEC after the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and other liberal groups launched anti-ALEC activities. Nearly 30 companies and nonprofits have quit by now.

And yet another laugh out loud moment

My morning paper has been amusing me lately. Frank Cerabino, a Cox media columnist thinks Florida needs a ‘state gun’. (Is he onto something here?.)

He closes the column with this:

And once we have an official State firearm, we can move onto other similar designations, such as an official State cancer.

Oh Florida, my Florida

As everyone knows, political conventioneers are the most decorous of visitors, which is why my Gov was quite annoyed yesterday when he indignantly denied a request from the Mayor of Tampa, host city to the upcoming RNC nominating convention. The Mayor had asked Scott to suspend concealed carry laws – only in the downtown  area and only for the duration of the convention.

That was too much for Scott: it would infringe on “sacred constitutional traditions” he said. Sacred. The ‘carry law’ is a precious’ right he said. Precious.

And, as any right thinking patriot knows, four days without the right to carry weapons anywhere that charged, partisan political folk gather, many of whom themselves will be carrying and many of whom will be falling down drunk (ever been to a political convention?) – why that would simply destroy our liberties and subject us forever to the whims of freedom-hating somethingorothers.

The head of the Brady Campaign said “nothing Florida does ever surprises me”. Ditto.

Step aside Mitt: hand the Etch-A-Sketch to Alan West

Joe McCarthy and some dumb Congress critter

Alan West, (R-from my embarrassed State of Florida) is on this weeks’ media menu (from which he will disappear until he says the next stupid thing). On CNN, he was asked about Ted Nugent’s comments (that would be the ones Nugent is ‘talking to’ the Secret Service about today):

“I don’t think the Motor City Madman has any ill will toward the President of United States of America.”

Ted Nugent speaks and I ask what is he waiting for?

No need to set up your death-by-cop, Ted. You have plenty of guns: just go ahead and instead of pointing yer weapon at a president (that’s what it sounds like you’d like to do) just turn it around and do yourself and save the rest of us the trouble.

“If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year,” Nugent said, according to a video posted on YouTube by the NRA. “If you can’t go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil America hated administration, I don’t even know what you’re made out of.”

Yeah, sure, he’s talking about about the voting booth. Sure.

Nobody’s gonna keep Newt down: How to Grab A Headline 101

Lessons in pandering at the NRA (or “how you too can jump the whole shark with just a single sentence”)

The right to bear arms comes from our creator, not our government,” Gingrich said. The NRA “has been too timid” in promoting its agenda beyond American borders. The Bill of Rights was not written only for Americans, he said. “It is a universal document.”

By the way, do you know the American citizenry has the 2nd highest rate of gun ownership in the world? Do you know who’s first? Yemen.

ALSO: thanks to friend Jane for directing me to this article in The New Yorker, a fascinating history of gun concealment laws and gun control in the US (pre modern NRA). I didn’t realize how different things were back when – even in Dodge!

The first thing the government of Dodge did when founding the city, in 1873, was  pass a resolution that “any person or persons found carrying concealed weapons  in the city of Dodge or violating the laws of the State shall be dealt with  according to law.”

Another one in Texas 20 years later:

As the governor of Texas explained in 1893, the “mission of the concealed deadly  weapon is murder”.

Dear newsmedia: George Zimmerman is not charged with killing a black teenager; he is charged with killing a teenager

Just heard it again on a radio news broadcast: “George Zimmerman has been taken into custody and been charged with the murder of a black teenager.” That’s what the news reader said – pet peeve of mine.

There may well be racial overtones to this crime, and there are valid reasons to suspect that there are, but Zimmerman is not being charged on those grounds. Zimmerman is being charged with murder, quite serious enough on its own. But  the real defendant in this trial will be the State of Florida and its insane  “Stand Your Ground” law.

So is the racial aspect a matter of concern? You bet it is. But I think the larger threat is to all of us; it is another wound to our tradition of common law.

The Supreme Court just upheld strip searches for unpaid parking fines, so I shudder to think what will happen if a challenge to this Florida law makes its way to that gorgeous white temple to justice. I figure the NRA will get there first.

About guns laws: Larry makes my case, but does it better

In a comment thread at Woodgate’s View, proprietor Larry presents a thorough and thoughtful case for gun control laws. I’m so admiring of how well constructed is his argument . . . well, here it is. It’s a keeper:

 [he replies to a commenter] thanks for leaving your comments and no, I don’t think you’re an uneducated moron. I don’t know you well enough to characterize you as such.  My comments are generic in nature but with a purpose.

I am familiar with firearms.  Did some bird hunting before I entered the Marine Corps where I learned even more about weapons, including my M-14 I that I earned a Marksman rating with.  But I had the disadvantage of using my weapon in a way that many people who are passionate about guns never have or most likely never will.  I shot at other people with it and was shot at while serving in Vietnam.  I don’t know that I actually ever hit anyone or worse, killed someone while shooting at them since my actual combat experience was more limited than a grunt who’s routinely out in the bush.  But I was stationed on an isolated hill for nearly a year near the DMZ and would occasionally encounter enemy fire

I have seen the damage that firearms do and because of that I have never owned a gun of my own after being discharged from the service.   I honestly think they do more harm than good and I find no sport in killing animals with them.  The need to kill our own food disappeared years ago.  The “thrill of the kill” is, to me, not a humane response.  There’s something extremely barbaric about it and I’d like to think we’ve advanced over the years where ancient survival instincts need not be acted out at the expense animals losing their lives to fulfill this unnecessary leftover from another time period.

I understand that we live in a world where bad people can hurt us and some are so overwrought with this fear that they feel compelled to seek protection with a handgun.  But the point of my post is that this fear has exceeded rational limits and there is an entire culture now that uses this reasonable exception for owning a weapon where they feel the need to own large arsenals of automatic weapons and their accouterments, like silencers, to go with them.  They have become dangerous toys for otherwise normal people.

Firing your weapon in an enclosed firing range is a good reason to protect your hearing but if you had read the story by Anna Tinsley I supplied a link to you would understand the jist of my comments.  Not everyone who owns a gun buys a silencer for ear protection in an enclosed firing range.  Most, according to one Ft. Worth gun dealer, buy them “because they’re cool.”  It’s a part of a pervasive mentality in this state where people often think with their asses rather than their brains.

Owning a gun is a serious business but you get the idea that too many want them out of some exaggerated fear for their life or to simply be part of an in-crowd.  A strong indication that critical thinking is seriously lacking with them.

You may be one of the few people that takes a common sense approach to owning a firearm but if you’re spending so much time firing off rounds where you need a silencer to prevent using the “medical system later in life” maybe you need a more healthy hobby.

Yes, I know you have to jump through hoops to own a silencer.  Again, had you read the article by Tinsley I supplied you with you would see this fact was pointed out.  And though I could have gone in the direction that said silencers making it easier for dangerous people to kill innocent people and do so more unnoticed, I avoided this mainly because they are, on paper at least, difficult to acquire.  You know of course that a truly dangerous person with malice in his or her heart would simply buy a silencer on the black market to circumvent any detection by the legal authorities, right?

And please, don’t do the apples to oranges comparison with owning guns and other sporting events equipment.  I’m sure there are those novices who pay for the most expensive equipment in some sports who have the least skills but in their attempt to be “cool” a set of golf clubs or a high dollar tennis racket is not going to accidentally kill someone out of fear or over enthusiasm.  They’re designed purely to entertain.  Guns are designed to kill and can do so more successfully and permanently than being whacked with a 4 iron.

If I hadn’t made my pointy perfectly clear, to be sure I’m not opposed to some forms of gun ownership.  I am however opposed to the unlimited ownership of weapons and the ability now to carry a gun damn near anywhere people congregate and expect them to remain sane and rational at all times.  When I see laws that promote these excesses, I jump all over them and hope that I can make them look foolish enough to some people who are contemplating purchasing a gun out of a heightened fear for their safety or because it a “cool” thing to do.

The American way of guns: what’s next – the maternity ward?

It seems mass murderers here in the US, especially at schools, have become so commonplace that yesterday’s killing of six college students didn’t even make it to the front page in my paper.

When Columbine happened in 1999, it stunned us. The story dominated the news for weeks. Newspapers ran long biographies of those who died.

But that was then. Today, events like this have started to define us, even as the sickness of the lone gunman mowing down innocents for no reason or because of some paranoid delusion or perceived slight, begins to spread into other countries.

And our uniquely American logic dictates that we therefore must have more guns and be allowed to take them everywhere. So now, in my own State, the gun-loving land of the clinically insane, I am not even surprised by  this:

TAMPA — If Tampa’s proposed rules for the Republican National Convention are passed, protesters could not bring squirt guns into a designated protest zone.

But they could bring real guns if they have concealed weapons permits.

That’s because state law does not allow local governments to enact laws regulating guns, City Attorney Jim Shimberg Jr. said.

“Even if we tried to regulate it, it would be null and void,” Shimberg said Monday.

Not that the city didn’t consider it.

. . . “It was just kind of common sense,” Assistant City Attorney Mauricio Rodriguez said. “We felt if we’re going to regulate people carrying sticks and poles, why wouldn’t we regulate people carrying firearms, because those could pose significant risks to police and other protesters.”

But later, city attorneys removed the ban on guns after finding that Florida Statute 790.33 prohibits local governments from enacting any laws on the sale, purchase, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage or transportation of guns or ammunition.

Passed last year, the state law allows judgments of up to $100,000 against local governments that enforce local gun ordinances. It also says local officials could be removed from office and fined $5,000, with no representation from the city or county attorney.

There is, however, one place where guns won’t be allowed. That’s the convention itself, and it’s because the U.S. Secret Service has authority to make the rules inside the convention, which is scheduled for Aug. 27-30.