Archive for category Gun Control
Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy, was killed by a policeman in Cleveland last November. He had a toy gun. But even if the gun had been real, and loaded, Rice could not have been accused of a crime because Ohio is an “open carry” state.
Surveillance video showed that Rice was gunned down less than two seconds after the police arrived.
After a 13-month investigation, a grand jury failed to return indictments against either of the two officers involved in the incident. As prosecutor Timothy McGinty declared, “We don’t second-guess police officers.”
What Everyone Should Know About The Police Killing Of Tamir Rice (2002-2014)
How A Prosecutor Managed To Blame A 12-Year-Old For Getting Killed By A Cop
Bernie Sanders wants federal probe of Tamir Rice case: ‘We need to take a hard look’ at police use of force
“All I wanted was someone to be held accountable. But this entire process was a charade,” said Rice’s mother, Samaria Rice, in a statement Monday evening. “I pray and hope that the federal government will investigate this case.”
I’m not for taking everybody’s guns away, but continuing to do nothing when these mass shootings are taking place nearly once a week is madness. It’s a terrible question to ask, but is congress taking no action because gun sales go through the roof after every one of these tragedies? Total inaction might be what the NRA and gun industry want, but it certainly isn’t what the vast majority of the American people have said they want.
Look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis…
You’re going to have these things happen and it’s a horrible thing to behold, horrible
I’ll let Ethel Merman respond to the 2016 presidential candidates. From “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World:
Via Media Matters:
States United to Prevent Gun Violence (SUPGV) released a video debunking the notion that gun ownership makes a person safer. (Research has demonstrated that owning a gun increases the risk of death or injury.)
SUPGV conducted a “hidden camera social experiment” to record the reactions of potential gun buyers at a fake gun store they had set up in Manhattan. When prospective purchasers inquired about a firearm, the clerk informed the customer of tragedies — including mass shootings and unintentional shootings involving children — that involved the use of that particular model of firearm. Hidden cameras recorded prospective gun buyers’ shocked reactions.
Each firearm (actually a replica) in the fake gun store was tagged with a history of tragic accidents or mass shootings associated with that model.
Wal-Mart in Hayden, Idaho after shooting
The WaPo chronicles the reaction of people who knew Veronica Rutledge, the mother shot in the head by her two-year-old son at Wal-Mart.
[Close friend Sheri] Sandow told The Post she often sees people with a gun cradled at their side. “In Idaho, we don’t have to worry about a lot of crime and things like that,” she said. “And to see someone with a gun isn’t bizarre. [Veronica] wasn’t carrying a gun because she felt unsafe. She was carrying a gun because she was raised around guns. This was just a horrible accident.”
According to those quoted in the article, Rutledge was a well-educated responsible gun owner with a perfectly normal hobby that involved carrying a loaded gun everywhere she went. “We are gun people,” her father-in-law explained.
Also too, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”
At the Bundy Ranch standoff, so-called right-wing militia members aimed assault weapons at law enforcement officers. No arrests were made, and Cliven Bundy remains a free man. Last night in Ferguson, Missouri, an overwhelming police force including SWAT teams rampaged through residential streets firing stun grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets. They attacked peaceful, unarmed protesters and arrested reporters. The city never imposed a curfew, which means citizens were supposed to be allowed to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights.
Something is wrong. The media are blaming so-called “homeland security” and the militarization of even small-town police departments, which can buy a surplus MRAP from the Army for only $5,000 even if they don’t need one. Worse than that, there seems to be a trend of police use of deadly force against unarmed suspects – many of whom are being shot multiple times or shot in the back.
Ferguson Seeks Answers After Police Shooting Of Michael Brown
Does the Second Amendment Only Apply to White People?
Alderman, 2 reporters arrested as Ferguson erupts for 4th night
Did Police Use Excessive Force Against Ferguson Protesters?
Ferguson’s Police Got Free Military Gear Straight From The Pentagon
It’s always there, the lack of empathy on the part of right-wing extremists. We all remember the GOP presidential debate audience that cheered for letting people die without health insurance. More recently, we’ve seen an eruption of fear and hatred on the right directed at children fleeing the violence in some Central American countries.
Today we have the story of a California man who came home and discovered two burglars in his house.
“The lady, she couldn’t run as fast as the man, so I shot her in the back twice,” Greer explained. “She’s dead, but he got away.”
“She says, ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m pregnant! I’m going to have a baby!’ And I shot her anyway,” Greer said.
John Amato attempted to explain the “vile behavior” of wingers as an effort to emulate their heroes, the rich:
The thing about right-wing populism is that it’s manifestly self-defeating: those who stand to primarily benefit from this ideology are the wealthy, which is why they so willingly underwrite it. It might, in fact, more accurately be called “sucker populism.”
The 1 Percent want to keep us afraid, desperate, and divided by ignorance and prejudice. Otherwise, Americans might decide to blame Wall Street for crashing our economy. We might demand an end to pointless wars, or want to get rid of tax laws that are unfair to the middle class. We might realize that government health insurance is the best kind. Who knows, we might even want other good things from government such as infrastructure improvements, Internet access, cheap renewable energy programs…
California 80-year-old satisfied after gunning down fleeing pregnant home intruder
Hey, gun nuts: Shooting someone who is running away in the back is not self-defense
Fox hosts outraged that Texas 911 operators are ‘forced’ to help dying non-English speakers
Tea Party town hall erupts as Texas state Rep urges ‘compassion’ for migrant kids
“The Utah Shooting Sports Council is offering a free class Friday to qualified educators who want to carry concealed firearms in schools.
“The class is open not only to teachers but also all other staff that work in schools,” said Clark Aposhian, chairman of the council. “Because of the popularity last year, we wanted to offer it again.” SLTrib article
March 2013: I wrote a detailed character sketch when his loaded assault rifle gun was first taken from his car (not far from my house).
May 2013: Clark was arrested and jailed for driving a 2-ton army truck to his ex-wife’s house in Cottonwood Heights and making threats to one of the people who lived there. A few days later, the Judge confiscated his guns.
Via Think Progress:
The largest study of gun violence in the United States, released Thursday afternoon, confirms a point that should be obvious: widespread American gun ownership is fueling America’s gun violence epidemic.
The study, by Professor Michael Siegel at Boston University and two coauthors, has been peer-reviewed and is forthcoming in the American Journal of Public Health. Siegel and his colleagues compiled data on firearm homicides from all 50 states from 1981-2010, the longest stretch of time ever studied in this fashion, and set about seeing whether they could find any relationship between changes in gun ownership and murder using guns over time.
…The conclusion: “for each 1 percentage point increase in proportion of household gun ownership,” Siegel et al. found, “firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9” percent.
Remember that previous studies have already established that rates of gun ownership are strongly correlated with gun deaths (including accidents, suicides, and homicides).
The three states with the highest rate of gun ownership (MT, AK, WY) have a gun death rate of 17.8 per 100,000, over 4 times that of the three lowest-ownership states (HI, NJ, MA; 4.0 gun deaths per 100,000).
Scientific studies have consistently found that places with more guns have more violent deaths, both homicides and suicides. Women and children are more likely to die if there’s a gun in the house. The more guns in an area, the higher the local suicide rates. “Generally, if you live in a civilized society, more guns mean more death,” said David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. “There is no evidence that having more guns reduces crime. None at all.”
Going back to the done to death argument over George Zimmerman, it should be noted that there are some things that are completely overlooked in this case. One major thing is his behavior. He was first off a Neighborhood watch captain. Secondly, he decided to confront someone who he thought was dangerous. If that wasn’t enough, four days after Zimmerman was acquitted, he “rescued” a family from a car accident. If this country wasn’t this polarized, this should have alarmed everyone because this behavior strongly correlates with Hero Syndrome. Hero Syndrome is a behavioral pattern where a person wants to be recognized and appraised for heroic deeds and these people are known to look for trouble and even cause trouble to be the hero of the situation. Even the FBI has stated that Zimmerman has this.
This is important because this raises a question. Why was he able to own a gun in the first place? You are telling me that he has a personality problem where he actively seeks trouble and can even create trouble for others just so he can be a hero and yet he can own a gun? In about ever mass shooting in the US, the underlying factor has always been mental disorders. Yet most of these killers have been legally capable of obtaining a gun even when psychologists have diagnosed them as dangerous to themselves and others. Why is psychology not being addressed?
I haven’t been following it, but I’ve heard the Zimmerman trial has been all over the cable networks, which I canceled years ago when my local outlet decided I needed to get a box in order to get a C-Span channel I already had.
Maybe somebody can tell me, but did the “American Legislative Exchange Council” come up in the trial or on the cable coverage?
Was Zimmerman emboldened to shoot his gun due to legislation passed in multiple states, due to secretive ALEC legislation?
As an American, I believe these are questions that need to be asked.
You don’t need to depend on me. You can get your information from one of the best journalists left in America:
Update: I’ve had a request to provide the transcript to the Bill Moyers program. You can find it here.
Update May 28, 2013: Utah gun rights advocate Clark Aposhian arrested
March 29, 2013
Clark muttered under his breath when he discovered his ‘baby’ had been stolen out of the the back seat of his car as it sat parked in front of his house. He walked back toward his open garage.
For the first time in his life, Clark knew the meaning of pants-around-ankles. He shuttered to think about his next move. ‘Do I call the police,’ Clark thought to himself, ‘how will I face my gun safety students…or do I keep quiet and hope no one notices?’
“Shoot, shoot, SHOOT” he said, out loud this time.
Ever since the accident at the gun range, saying ‘shoot’ three times in a row always got Clark’s adrenaline going. This time was no different. Clark’s instincts kicked in. With the deftness of an eagle in flight, Clark swept the Glock out of his waistband cocking it with his arms outstretched above his head. Widening his stance, Clark slowly lowered the gun to eye level and squinted as if transfixed on an imaginary enemy. Clark was a huge Clint Eastwood fan. He had perfected the “Clint squint” by first grade.
Seeing no immediate threat on the bucolic street at the end of his driveway, Clark spun around, crouched, and with both hands, aimed his gun toward the garage door.
“Don’t fuck with me,” Clark warned out loud as he crept back through the empty garage into his empty house, hoping none of the neighbors had noticed.
A tingle ran up his spine. His mind raced back to his childhood and the endless days playing Cops and Robbers with his best friend Lil’ Clyde.
“Damned, those were the days” Clark said to himself as he straightened out and placed the Glock back in his pants. Stepping into the serenity of his empty kitchen, his mind went blank as it often did, without notice.
Unable to remember what he had come into the house for, Clark went over to his old vinyl record player and put on his favorite ZZ Top album and began doing air guitar. As he arched his back, he felt the barrel of the Glock press into his flesh.
“Shoot” Clark said out loud, remembering the was a bullet in the chamber. Then Clark remembered why he had come back into the house.
By now everyone has heard about this story. It highlights a couple of things.
1. Even the most responsible gun owners cannot protect us from the unintended consequences of gun ownership.
2. Refer to #1.
Personally, I’d like to know why Clark had a thermal-imaging scope attached to his rifle. As a lobbyist for the gun industry, I imagine Clark Aposhian has plenty of exotic freebies kicking around his house. But why was it actually ON THE GUN? What the fuck? Is there a new shooting sport we should know about?
Don’t miss the Wonkette’s satirical reflection on Clark’s big ooops: “Utah Gun Lobbyist’s AR-15 Stolen Because SUV Couldn’t Defend Itself“