Tag Archives: Gun control

A Robin Williams quote for the collection

“The Second Amendment says we have the right to bear arms, not to bear artillery.”

Doocy knows that blame must be placed – on you-know-who

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaOf course they went there. The very next day.

From the couch of the stupid, Elizabeth Hasselback lamented that ““ you have our soldiers not being able to arm themselves . . . if they do have a weapon, they are to register it within five days of purchase. . .  then that must be stored away in these lockers so that it cannot be carried on their person, therefore leaving them vulnerable.”

Doocy then pointed to the current Democratic president by quoting a conservative blogger: “Gateway Pundit, which is a way right-leaning blog, what they write this morning is, ‘The Obama administration is responsible for this mass shooting. They witnessed this before, they didn’t learn a thing. Gun-free zones are death zones. It is time to stand up to the lunacy.’”

Agreed.

An important message within this tale of two photos

Same scene, same time, different angles. Partisans will choose which to embrace.

wo

As Josh Marshall put it at Talking Points Memo:

The photos appear to have been taken at nearly the same moment, but from two different angles. And they tell different stories.

As I said in my headline, these two photos contain an important lesson about assumptions and jumping to conclusions.

But that said and friendly smiles notwithstanding I see intentional cruelty, nearly of the Westboro Baptist Church variety. Here, they’re gathered outside a Houston restaurant to “protest” the meeting inside of the state chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun safety advocacy group formed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Whoops

Thank The Dear Elvis this guy didn’t shoot Antoinette – she was needed elsewhere.

A Republican state senator from Arkansas who is leading a legislative committee on the subject of giving guns to school teachers accidentally shot a teacher during an “active shooter” drill earlier this year, the local paper of record has uncovered.

State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson put forward a proposal in the wake of last December’s mass shooting event at Sandy Hook Elementary School that would allow law enforcement officials to deputize teachers and other staff members, effectively putting them in charge of school safety.

How Obama fails after he wins

Maureen Dowd, who often makes my teeth hurt as much as Wolfe Blitzer, gets it exactly right today. The gun purchase background check legislation should have passed the Senate and could have passed the Senate, if it had just a little push from the Oval Office.

How is it that the president won the argument on gun safety with the public and lost the vote in the Senate? It’s because he doesn’t know how to work the system . . . It’s unbelievable that with 90 percent of Americans on his side, he could get only 54 votes in the Senate. It was a glaring example of his weakness in using leverage to get what he wants. No one on Capitol Hill is scared of him . . .

President Obama thinks he can use emotion to bring pressure on Congress. But that’s not how adults with power respond to things. . . .

The president was oblivious to red-state Democrats facing tough elections. Bring the Alaskan Democrat Mark Begich to the White House residence, hand him a drink, and say, “How can we make this a bill you can vote for and defend?”

Sometimes you must leave the high road and fetch your brass knuckles. Obama should have called Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota over to the Oval Office and put on the squeeze: “Heidi, you’re brand new and you’re going to have a long career. You work with us, we’ll work with you. Public opinion is moving fast on this issue. The reason you get a six-year term is so you can have the guts to make tough votes. This is a totally defensible bill back home . . . ”

. . . Obama should have pressed his buddy [Sen Tom Coburn]: “Hey, Tom, just this once, why don’t you do more than just talk about making an agreement with the Democrats? You’re not running again. Do something big.”

This is where Obama fails. He needs to remind himself that he is “the most powerful man in the world” and then he needs to get his hands dirty.

Guns, damn guns and things I didn’t know: Part the gajillionth

During the American Revolution, local militias –  who played the role of today’s  National Guard – had no collective arms and depended entirely upon the arms and ammunition of private citizens. (Okay, I knew that part.)

american-colonial-militia-rifleman-randy-steeleTo facilitate response time (the British are coming! the British are coming!), they often stockpiled their arms in one place for easy access. Basically, an armory.

Before the Revolution and in its very early days, the British – the ‘central government’ of that day – took to seizing those arms, something the good folks  took personally – those guns were private property after all. (Might that be the origin of our love affair with personal weapons – well, public weapons as well, since we are the largest arms exporter in the world.)

There are several references to militias in The Constitution (which I did not know; I thought it was only addressed in the Second Amendment). Article I assigns Congress the power to:

. . . provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; [and]

To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing of such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States.

(I’m getting this from Jeffrey Toobin’s terrific 2012 book about Obama and the Roberts Court by the way.)

Toobin goes on:

Article II says the president is C in C of the army, navy and “Militia of the Several States when called into the actual Service of the United States”. It wasn’t until the Militia Act of 1903 that their functions were formally subsumed into other agencies, like the National Guard . . .

And this: in the first 200 years of our existence, the Supreme Court discussed the Second Amendment exactly once, in 1938. It – U.S. v. Miller – was a challenge to the National Firearms Act passed in 1934 in response to the gang violence of the day and in particular to the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, which horrified the country not least because ‘machine guns’ were used. The Court ruled – unanimously – that the Act complied fully with the Second Amendment. Justice McReynolds spoke for the Court, saying they’d concluded that the Second Amendment existed to preserve the rights of militias – not individuals – to keep and bear arms.

And the issue disappeared once again, resurfacing only after the Kennedy assassinations.

massacreThe Gun Control Act of 1968 had widespread public support including the strong support of the NRA (when they still represented actual gun owners). 

IRONY ALERT: That didn’t change until Ronald Reagan’s 1976 campaign for the presidency. Writing an article for Guns and Ammo in 1975, he set off an entirely different conversation about guns, working opposition into a libertarian message, even insisting that the Second Amendment prohibited gun control – so much so that the 1976 Republican platform proclaimed a new-found opposition to gun control, reversing its previous 1972 platform supporting gun control. And in 1977, hard-liners staged a coup d’etat at the NRA to align with the new position). Everything changed.

But back to 1939. Toobin calls the U.S. v. Miller decision:

entirely originalist in its reasoning. The opinion quoted the provisions of Article I  dealing with the powers and then stated “With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces, the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.”

Toobin continues:

Indeed, if the Second Amendment were intended by its framers to give individuals a right to keep and bear arms, the initial militia clause [“A well-regulated Militia  being necessary”, etc.] would be both unnecessary and meaningless.”

I find the reasoning of both that 1939 Court and of Jeffrey Toobin to be impeccable. (And as proof that I care, know that I had to type all this . . . no cut and paste from da books!)

Another gun tragedy

John Hinderacker of the Powerline blog – once a big deal (quite undeserved) and now not so much – is out of ammunition and can’t go play today.

But I couldn’t shoot because, with the exception of 100 rounds of 22LR and the loaded 9 mm magazines that I keep at home for purposes of self-defense, I was out of ammo.

And the stores don’t have any more which we’ve been hearing about, for reasons we’ve also been hearing about. But here’s a new one, to me anyway:

How about the fact that government agencies are buying up billions of rounds? There have been lots of news reports and lots of rumors, but no clear explanation of why the federal government has invested so massively in ammunition–including the most popular civilian calibers–over the last year. One way or another, it seems that there is a story here. But for it to be pursued, we would need “reporters.” Remember them? Nah, that was a bygone era: you probably don’t.

Maybe he should talk to this guy whose articles:

. . . have appeared in National Review, The Weekly Standard, The American Enterprise, American Experiment Quarterly, and newspapers from Florida to California.

His name is John Hinderacker.

 

The guns, the doctors and the utter nonsense being repeated as fact

Snuggling with #4

Snuggling with #4

As penance for some less than cordial behavior I exhibited over the weekend toward someone who was in the particular instance totally blameless, but had nevertheless been asking for it for a long time . . . as penance, this morning I exposed myself without any protection to a full five minutes of poisonous rant from the morbidly obese, four times married, indicted drug user, college dropout and all around moralist Mr. Rush Limbaugh, that arbiter of all things right and proper.

He had his size XXXXLLLL underwear in a knot – doctors! are! again! required! to! go! after! the! guns!  They must tell Obama. And name names. The ‘authorities’ said so. (the whole silly transcript is here under the headline “Regime deputizes gun-snitch doctors”).

Bet you didn’t know that long, long ago, doctors were required to inquire of their patients about whether there are firearms in the home. And to report. To the authorities. Whoever they are.

Who knew? Not me. Never heard of it. But there it was, hidden from us all until  Obamacare, which has now been revealed to be just a ploy to get our guns. Or something.

(Recently, some brave governors have gotten laws passed to put a stop to this outrage! The courts are slapping down the governors right and left but what else can we expect – they are, after all ‘in on it’.)

Writing about this stuff doesn’t capture the depth of the looney. But I must continue my penance to its logical conclusion and take words of Rush, from the mouth itself, and show them to be nothing but his brand of million-bucks-a-minute tonic for the rubes.

Sayeth the chubby one (after some cautiously phrased qualifiers):

So now doctors are being ordered  . . . to get information from them about gun ownership . . .   Doctors are now, quote, unquote, “permitted,” unquote, to do this. It makes ’em deputies, agents of the state. Look at the position this puts the doctors in  [if they don’t report].  The doctors are now under the thumb of Obamacare.  They had better comply.

And Rush gives us some history:

What’s happening here is this. For the longest time doctors have been required to ask parents and kids about this. I remember when this started, doctors were instructed to ask kids to rat out their parents on guns they had. That’s some years ago.

Total nonsense. The American Association of Pediatrics, as a policy (not a requirement) urges its practitioners to counsel parents of young children about the dangers of firearms in the home. There is no reporting requirement. The government is not involved in any way. The AAP guidelines are here.

On to where the ACLU is per FatBoy:

 Don’t ask me where the ACLU is.  I mean, anything to get rid of guns, the ACLU’s right there. Leftists are leftists, and that comes first with them.

Where the ACLU actually is, per their own website:

For seven decades, the Supreme Court’s 1939 decision in United States v. Miller was widely understood to have endorsed that view [guns are about militia, not about an individual right].

The Supreme Court has now ruled otherwise. In striking down Washington D.C.’s handgun ban by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in D.C. v. Heller held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, whether or not associated with a state militia.

The ACLU disagrees . . . . We do not, however, take a position on gun control itself. In our view, neither the possession of guns nor the regulation of guns raises a civil liberties issue.

This doctor/guns/government nonsense has been circulating via mass emails from the fringe for some time now. (A related history here from Snopes.) I first heard of it a few weeks ago when a family member informed me that this has been going on and that doctors have been helping the guvmint build a database so they can – let’s say it together – get! the! guns!

Meh but I’m tired of this.

Breathless headlines – threat alert off the charts!

Drudge makes his editorial contribution again to the important issues of our day. Well played, Matt. That ought to get the page views up nicely .. . .

drudge well done matt

Image

Makes every bit as much sense as . . . well, you know

aaaa

Our childrenz is saved!!!

teacher gunsAnd safe! Between this and armed kindergarten teachers, we’ve got it covered!

BOGOTA, Colombia – A Colombian firm that makes bulletproof vests is now creating armored clothing for children. . . .

Previously, the company had only manufactured for adults.

“After the tragedy in Connecticut, we started getting emails from customers [all over the US] asking for protected (clothing) because they were afraid to take their kids to school,” Caballero said.

Products include child-sized armored vests, protective undershirts and backpacks with ballistic protection that can be used as shields. The products are designed for children ages 8-16 years old . . .

Caballero performed a test on a pink-and-yellow striped bulletproof backpack attached to a pale blue protective vest, firing a 9mm pistol and a machine gun to show it could withstand a barrage of bullets.

Nailed it. USA! USA! 

All it takes to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun.

If only someone in that Police Station had had a gun, they could have stopped the bad guy. I say it’s time to arm our police.  Here.

aaa

Who knew? Not Wayne. Actually, not me either.

Wayne LlapierreaPierre, that angry-man-with-a-gun (I hope he’s been background checked) is sure that an armed guard at school is just the thing to keep our babies safe safe safe.

Ahem. Columbine had an armed security guard. He exchanged gunfire with the killers. When Sheriff’s deputies arrived, more gunfire was exchanged – and the killing continued. Eventually a SWAT team arrived – and the killing continued.

The six deputies were on the scene within five minutes, the SWAT team within seven minutes. On many high school campuses, it could take a security guard  minutes, not seconds, to reach (to locate?) a problem area.

The excruciating details of  the Columbine response are here.

Wayne LaPierre is blowing it. Big time.

Leave aside for a moment the arguments for or against weapon restrictions – at this moment the NRA is holding its much awaited press conference.

And now we know whose fault it is. The media done it.

He also  added:

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

I hope he’s embarrassing the hell out of the NRA membership. In fact, I think he may be.

More:  the press and Washington are consumed with ‘hatred’ for gun freedoms?

More: Obama’s fault too cuz he didn’t support a school policing policy. And of course, that’s what we need. He wants Congress to “put armed police officers in every single school in this nation”. (and who pays for that Wayne?)

Oh dear, he calls on us to “erect a cordon of protection around our kids”. (what – a new Secret Service?) Oh wow, he wants student and teacher training. Okay, this is where the promised NRA ‘meaningful contribution’ comes in – they’re going to organize this thing. And they’ll make it available to ‘the world’. That’s their ‘plan of action’.  And Asa Hutchinson will head it!

Is he kidding?

I can’t wait for the questions – this is, after all, a press conference. And he just called his audience murderers. UPDATE: They took no questions. None.

This whole thing has been utterly bizarre.

Fuck: Definitely the word of the week(end)

My  previous post urged one Mr. Mike Huckabee to go and, as is said, ‘fuck himself’.

I did briefly wonder if I had taken my headline a step too far. I hadn’t. Approximately 68% of commentary on Friday’s shootings and 100% of commentary on Huckabee’s comments in particular now includes the word fuck.

So – not too far. Whew.

Mike Huckabee can go fuck himself

Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee attributed today’s deadly massacre in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut to the lack of God and religion in public schools.

Addressing the tragedy on Fox News, Huckabee dismissed calls for stricter gun control and claimed that future violence can be prevented by solving matters of “the heart” and turning to God.

Here. Fuck him. And the God and Guns he clings to.

Yawn. Tell me something new.

3 Killed in shooting at Texas A&M

(CNN) — A Texas constable and two others were killed Monday in a shooting near Texas A&M University, police said.

Rhonda Seaton, a spokeswoman with the College Station police department, told CNN that the three people killed were the constable, the man authorities say exchanged gunfire with law enforcement officers and an unidentified civilian.

A few minutes earlier, Asst. Chief Scott McCollum, from the same police department, told reporters that multiple people had been shot in the incident, which occurred around noon just a few blocks from the Texas A&M campus.

The dead included Brian Bachmann, a constable in Brazos County, according to McCollum. According to his Facebook campaign page, Bachmann was a 41-year-old Republican from College Station who had been a Brazos County sheriff’s deputy since 1993.

So lottsa folks shot. Three killed. Yawn.

That’s it. Back to unbloggy.

Guns. Why.

Dollars spent lobbying our Congress Critters: PRO – $4.3 million; ANTI – $240K. And that is how our government works. Any questions?

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.

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.

Everyone in Florida loves guns except the cops

News from Tallahassee this morning – the NRA wants those cops to get out of the way dammit.

The National Rifle Association . . .  is surveying state sheriff candidates on whether they’re willing to take a stand against the very association that will represent them in the Capitol if they win.

Their survey sent to candidates takes aim at the Florida Sheriff’s Association and other law enforcement groups, sheriffs and deputies that have opposed bills the two groups support.

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”.

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.