Saturday, January 17, 2015

Recent History Lesson - The Despicable NRA Bully Tactics

Lancaster PA Creates Legal Defense Fund for NRA Suit

Local news reports

Lancaster officials have set up a legal defense fund to defray costs of fighting a lawsuit the National Rifle Association filed against the city.
The NRA contends the ordinance violates a state law that prohibits local governments from enacting gun control ordinances.

Mayor Rick Gray, flanked by city council members and with the police chief present at a new conference Friday afternoon, accused the NRA of bullying and said the city won’t back down.

Many people have offered to help since learning of the suit, Gray said, prompting creation of the fund,

Former mayor Art Morris — a Republican — agreed with Gray that the NRA is bullying cities and became the first donor. He gave a check for $1,000, which Gray said he would MATCH.

Gray said he had no idea how much it will cost to defend the NRA’s suit, but said costs would also be borne by taxpayers. The city’s insurance likely would not cover defending the suit, he said.

“At the same time, we believe that standing by this ordinance is the right thing to do. We are responsible for the safety of those city taxpayers — a responsibility we intend to fulfill,” he said.

The NRA sued Lancaster, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh under a new state law under which gun owners don’t have to show they’ve been hurt by a local ordinance to successfully challenge it.
Although I cheer any attempts to combat the bully tactics of the NRA, I've yet to be convinced about the benefits of a law requiring that stolen guns be reported to the police as long as there is no Licensing and Registration.

Always Lock Up Your Guns

Miami Cops Using Mug Shots for Target Practice

Link provided by Kurt Hofmann with the following cryptic comment: "Utterly disgusting racial hatred on the part of Florida police (David Codrea has more).  However strongly you condemn it, however loudly you assert racist motivation, I don't think you can take it any further than I think it should be taken."

After explaining what "any further than I think it should be taken" means, maybe Kurt would be willing to explain what David Codrea is talking about.  What "double standard" is there? Because the cops in one state has strict rules against this kind of thing, does that constitute a double standard when cops in another state do not?

St. Louis Sees 6 Fatal Shootings In 12 Hours

Huffington Post

Six homicides within 12 hours in an unusually high number for St. Louis, which has a population of about 320,000 people and recorded 159 homicides in 2014. Dotson and Slay linked the overnight violence to crime increases in the area documented since the fatal Ferguson police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown more than five months ago in north St. Louis County.
"To see this much violence going on in our city within such a short period of time, it is absolutely outrageous," Slay said. "It's out of hand. It disgusts me."
The first fatal shooting happened about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday during a home invasion near Fountain Park. The city's medical examiner's office identified Leon Rivers, 34, as the victim, who was shot as he ran from the home. A 29-year-old man is in custody.
Shortly after midnight, a man was found shot in the hallway of an apartment complex in the Carondelet neighborhood. Police say Kenny Burgett, 19, was confronted by his girlfriend's former BOYFRIEND. The 22-year-old suspect challenged Burgett to a fist fight before shooting him, according to police.
Just eight minutes later, two men died after a shooting and robbery on a street in the Dutchtown neighborhood. The victims were identified as Eric Lee, 21, and Jerivon Taylor, 20.
A sixth homicide was reported around 8 a.m. Thursday, when Cheri Simpson, 32, was shot to death in her car just south of downtown St. Louis while waiting at a stoplight. Capt. Michael Sack said police have arrested the woman's ex-boyfriend.

Friday, January 16, 2015

La Pierre's Latest Unintentional Joke

Missouri Man Goes to Jail for the Accidental Shooting of 3-Year-old

Toddler out of surgery not yet out of the woods after shooting

Local news reports

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker filed charges against a Kansas City man in the accidental shooting of a 3-year-old girl.

Jessie Ross III, 26, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and endangering a child.
Police were called to a home in the 3800 block of Chestnut Avenue on Jan. 7 after  Teriah Davis was shot in the stomach.
Jessie Ross III
Investigators said the girl's brother found the gun behind a mirror and that the gun went off while the children were handling it. The girl is recovering.
According to court records, the girl's mother told police that Ross brought the gun into the house.
Prosecutors said Ross was previously convicted of a felony.
He told investigators that he was not aware a gun was in the house and denied owning a gun.
Interesting. They arrested this guy on the mom's word? Maybe the gun was hers.  Or maybe it belonged to another boyfriend?

Jon Stewart on the Meaning of Hypocrisy - French Style

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Las Vegas Man, 26, Gets Prison Time in Fatal Shooting

Jim Edward Johnson, who told police he accidentally shot his friend while filming a rap video at the Palms, appears in Justice Court for a prelim hearing on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. L.E. Baskow

Local news reports

A 26-year-old Las Vegas man has been sentenced to 18 months to eight years in prison for what he maintained was the accidental shooting of his friend, an aspiring rapper and former U.S. Marine.
Jim Edward Johnson was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in August to voluntary manslaughter in the May 15 slaying of Evan Plunkett in a suite at the Palms CASINO Resort.
Defense attorney William Terry maintained that Johnson tried to stop a scuffle when the gun fired accidentally.
The 25-year-old Plunkett lived in Henderson and rapped as "Hollywood Will."
Police say some 50 people fled the shooting at a rap video taping party at a posh 34th-floor penthouse.

National Rifle Association Suing Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Over Gun Laws

Let no one accuse the National Rifle Association of being slow on the draw: It is suing Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Lancaster, just days after a new state law allowed it to challenge local gun ordinances in court.
“These municipalities have known for years that their ordinances were illegal, but there were no consequences,” said Jonathan Goldstein, a Chester County attorney representing the NRA. “Now it’s about to get expensive.”
While state law has barred local officials from passing their own gun laws since 1974, many municipalities have rules that, for example, ban firearms from public property. But last year’s passage of Act 192 gave the NRA new firepower in overturning such measures.
The law, which went into effect Jan. 5, allows any Pennsylvanian eligible to own a gun, or a group with such a person as a member, to challenge any local gun ordinance in the state. If the suit is successful, the municipality must pay the plaintiff’s legal fees.

The complaint filed against Pittsburgh was not available Wednesday, but Mr. Goldstein said it names a handful of ordinances. One prohibits carrying firearms in a vehicle or in person without a state permit to do so. Another prohibits discharging a firearm except at target ranges, or in cases permitted by state law. A third requires gun owners to report the loss or theft of stolen firearms.

Concealed Carry Purses

The Guardian


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie

I've been watching and reading the news about the shooting in France last week, to put it mildly. As anyone knows who owns a TV or a computer, there's been an incredible overload of coverage on all the news sources, one not seen since 9/11. The first person I saw who said anything even the least bit against-the-current was Southern Beale in her wonderful post, "I’m Not Charlie, or, Why Does Everyone Have To Be So Mean?As was well described in her post, I find it odd that "I am Charlie" has become such an international movement. What Charlie Hebdo does with its comics is puerile foolishness which I don't find the least bit funny and to which I certainly would not want to align myself.

In addition, most of the legions of "I am Charlie" followers probably fail to see the disgusting hypocrisy. A pen or pencil has become the symbol of the freedom-of-the-press movement, but just try to print something anti-Semitic. Incredibly, Charlie Hebdo itself disallows it. What kind of freedom of the press is that?

Fox News has been slamming the president for not attending the rally to which so many heads-of-state rushed to be seen.  And the coverage they received seems to have made it all worth it. The solidarity was unanimous.  Everyone agrees freedom of speech and non-violence are good. But in many of those very same countries it's illegal to deny the Holocaust.  In Angela Merkel's Fatherland it's illegal to display a swastika.

What hypocrites. They should be ashamed of themselves. I'm sure President Obama had his reasons for not attending, but to not appear among that confederacy of hypocrites is certainly nothing to fault him over. God knows there's plenty to complain about where our president's concerned - drone strikes against unarmed targets, indefinite detention for so-called terrorists, widespread warrant-less wiretapping, not to mention the continuing existing of our off-shore penal colony, Guantanamo, but not showing up for a ridiculous rally in Paris is not one of them.

Perhaps the biggest problem with all this, which seems to have gone completely unnoticed, is that the Charlie Hebdo shooting, as horrible and terrifying as it was, resulted in 12 deaths. We frequently have shootings in the US with death tolls close to that or greater even. The results: no international Twitter campaigns, no rallies of heads of state, no non-stop coverage of the news media, no nothin'.

This leaves me to wonder what's it all about then. Why such a phenomenal world-wide turnout?  Well, my guess is it's all about scapegoating radical Islam. It, radical Islam and Islam in general, has become the boogie man that we can all look to for a legitimate target of our fears and inner need to blame. Of course there are Muslim people involved in the rallies and signing up for the Twitter campaigns, but that's little different than the NRA boasting of black and female members.  The movement is really Islamophobia disguised as anti-violence and freedom of the press. It's a way of coming together against a common enemy, all the while denying our own involvement and contribution in radicalizing these misguided murderers.

Kentucky Cop Shoots Himself in a Gun Store and Sues Them

Opposing Views

Virginia Man Charged in Child Shooting

Local news

A Richmond man faces a neglect charge following the accidental shooting of his 5-year-old son by another boy.
Police tell media outlets that the boys were playing inside a home in Chesterfield County on Sunday when they found 28-year-old William C. Griffin’s handgun. The victim was shot by the other boy, who also is 5 years old, as they handled the weapon. He suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital.
Police say the Hi-Point .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol wasn’t secured.
Griffin was charged with felony abuse and neglect of children.

Alaska Man Who Shot Himself and his Daughter Not Charged with Recklessness

A Fairbanks corrections officer who accidentally shot himself and his daughter while they were at a physical therapy session last week will not be charged with reckless endangerment, according to District Attorney Mike Gray. 
“There was not enough evidence to indicate recklessness. I don’t know whether the gun malfunctioned or why it discharged. Negligent, perhaps, but not reckless by Alaska standards of recklessness, so the case was declined,” Gray said in a voice mail message to the News-Miner.
The man and his 12-year-old daughter were both patients at Adient Physical Therapy Monday in the Medical Dental Arts building when the incident occurred, according to Fairbanks police. The man was transferring his gun out of his holster to his jacket in preparation for his appointment when the gun discharged, according to police.
The bullet entered and exited the man’s forearm, grazed the girl’s right thigh and entered her left thigh, according to police. Both were taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where the man was treated and released.
The girl underwent surgery and was released the next morning, according to her mother. 
Alaska statute states that a person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.
The term recklessly is defined as a person acting with respect to a result or circumstance “when the person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur.”
The code further states that “the risk must be of such a nature and degree that disregard of it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.” 

Constitutional Carry Proposed in Indiana

via ssgmarkcr

 I came across this and to me at least it sounds like it might have potential for success, at least politically. 

"State Rep. Jim Lucas (R) has filed legislation that would repeal Indiana’s current concealed carry permit program in favor of free and lawful unlicensed carry.

The bill introduced would strike down the state’s popular handgun permitting scheme as enforced by the Indiana State Police, replacing it with language allowing unlicensed or so-called constitutional carry in the state of 6.5 million. Just four other states have similar laws."

"With some 570,712 permits issued, Indiana has one of the highest rates of lawful concealed carry in the nation. According to a 2014 report from the Crime Prevention Research Center, only South Dakota has a higher percent of the eligible population that has a permit. A large part of this is due to the state’s historically low cost for permits, ranging from $10-$50 that include an option for lifetime carry."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Message from the Dispossessed

Chris Hedges


The terrorist attack in France that took place at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was not about free speech. It was not about radical Islam. It did not illustrate the fictitious clash of civilizations. It was a harbinger of an emerging dystopia where the wretched of the earth, deprived of resources to survive, devoid of hope, brutally controlled, belittled and mocked by the privileged who live in the splendor and indolence of the industrial West, lash out in nihilistic fury.

We have engineered the rage of the dispossessed. The evil of predatory global capitalism and empire has spawned the evil of terrorism. And rather than understand the roots of that rage and attempt to ameliorate it, we have built sophisticated mechanisms of security and surveillance, passed laws that permit the targeted assassinations and torture of the weak, and amassed modern armies and the machines of industrial warfare to dominate the world by force. This is not about justice. It is not about the war on terror. It is not about liberty or democracy. It is not about the freedom of expression. It is about the mad scramble by the privileged to survive at the expense of the poor. And the poor know it.

26 States Line Up in Opposition to San Francisco’s Gunlock Law

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is the latest to sign on to a friend of the court filing opposing San Francisco’s gun lock law, bringing to a total of 26 states asking the Supreme Court to intervene in the case. (Photo: Fox 11)

Guns dot com

Last week Wisconsin’s Attorney General Brad Schimel became the latest to file a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to throw out San Francisco’s law requiring guns to be locked up even at home.
The brief filed by Schmiel joins 25 other states, lead by Nebraska, who are seeking the intervention of the nation’s highest court to help overturn the California ordinance. This comes in the latest installment of the saga over Jackson v. City of San Francisco, which was unanimously rejected by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last March who upheld a district court’s ruling that the city’s gun lock law was valid.
“We must act, because if the decision by the federal Court of Appeals is not reversed, the precedent it sets could influence policy decisions and court holdings affecting the Constitutional rights of citizens within their homes, not just in the City of San Francisco, buy anywhere in America, including Wisconsin,” explained Schimel of his reasoning for joining Nebraska’s amicus curiae brief.
The case has been winding its way through federal courts since 2009. It challenged the city and county of San Francisco over local laws implemented in 2007 that compelled gun owners to secure guns either locked inside a container or disabled with a trigger lock.

Gun Deaths On The Rise For People Under 25 As Car Deaths Fall

Refinery 29

Car-related deaths for folks under 25 are down, according to a study by the Center for Disease Control. The C.D.C. attributes this decline to "improved technology, tougher laws and less driving by young people," according to The Economist. 

The bad news is that the rate of deaths related to gun violence for the under-25 set is increasing, and it's actually on track to exceed car-related deaths. The majority of these deaths are suicides, accidents or domestic violence. Back in 2012, Bloomberg News estimated that "by 2015, firearm fatalities will probably exceed traffic fatalities for the first time, based on data compiled by Bloomberg."

Although the number of gun owners is down, there are almost as many guns as there are people in the United States. Government regulations on vehicles are more stringent than gun laws, especially since the National Rifle Association (which has plenty of pals in Congress) opposes some suggested safety features.  

The Answer to Terrorism - The Second Amendment

Interracial Crime

Discover the Networks

But in fact, white-on-black crime is a statistical rarity. According to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), an estimated 320,082 whites were victims of black violence in 2010, while 62,593 blacks were victims of white violence. That same year, according to the Census Bureau, the white and black populations in the U.S. were 196,817,552 and 37,685,848, respectively. Whites therefore committed acts of interracial violence at a rate of 32 per 100,000, while the black rate was 849 per 100,000. In other words, the “average” black was statistically 26.5 times more likely to commit criminal violence against a white, than vice versa. Moreover, blacks who committed violent crimes chose white victims 47.7% of the time, whereas whites who committed violent crimes targeted black victims only 3.9% of the time.

For many years and for a wide variety of crimes, this pattern has been among the most consistent findings of criminal-justice research. Nationwide in 2010, there were approximately 67,755 black-on-white aggravated asaults, as compared to just 1,748 white-on-black crimes of the same description. Thus, blacks committed acts of interracial aggravated assault at a rate of 181 per 100,000—fully 201 times higher than the white rate of 0.9 per 100,000. Moreover, blacks guilty of aggravated assault chose white victims 44.1% of the time, while whites who committed aggravated assault selected black victims only six-tenths of 1% of the time.
Also in 2010, there were approximately 13,463 black-on-white rapes and 38,744 black-on-white robberies. Blacks guilty of rape chose white victims 50.2% of the time, and blacks who committed robbery chose white victims 48% of the time. By contrast, the number of white-on-black rapes and robberies reported in the NCVS surveys were so infinitesimal, that in each case whites were estimated to have accounted for 0.0% of all rapes and robberies committed against black victims in the United States.

The New Arms Race

Huffington Post

As for "carrying," it's now legal in every state in America and allowed in ever more situations as well. In the last year, for instance, Idaho, where that mother died, became the seventh state to green-light the carrying of concealed guns on college campuses. To put all this in perspective, less than two decades ago, fewer than a million concealed weapons were being legally carried in the U.S.; now, more than one million people are permitted to carry such weapons in Florida alone. In 21st-century America, the "right to bear arms" has been extended in every direction, while there has also been a "sharp rise" in mass killings.
Meanwhile -- since what's an arms race without a second party? -- the police,mainlining into the Pentagon, have been up-armoring at a staggering pace. It's no longer an oddity for American police officers to be armed with assault rifles and grenade launchers as if in a foreign war zone or to arrive on the scene with a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle previously used in our distant wars. And by the way, while much anger has been displayed, by the police in particular, over the recent murders of two patrolmen in Brooklyn by a disturbed man carrying a Taurus semiautomatic handgun, that anger seems not to extend to his ability to arm himself or to the pawnshop filled with weaponry that originally sold the gun (but not to him).

Monday, January 12, 2015

More on the Zimmerman Story

video report

FBI Data Show Thousands of Gun Sales Beat Checks

More gun sales than ever are slipping through the federal background check system — 186,000 last year, a rate of 512 gun sales a day, as states fail to consistently provide thorough, real-time updates on criminal and mental histories to the FBI.
In the years since these background checks were required, about 71 percent have found no red flags and produced instant approvals.
But ten factors can disqualify gun purchasers: a felony conviction, an arrest warrant, a documented drug problem or mental illness, undocumented immigration status, a dishonorable military discharge, a renunciation of U.S. citizenship, a restraining order, a history of domestic violence, or an indictment for any crime punishable by longer than one year of prison time.
Any sign that one of these factors could be in a buyer's background produces a red-flag, which sends the check to the FBI researchers to approve, deny or investigate. They scour state records in the federal database, and often call local authorities for more information.
"It takes a lot of effort ... for an examiner to go out and look at court reports, look at judges' documents, try to find a final disposition so we can get back to a gun dealer on whether they can sell that gun or not," Del Greco said. "And we don't always get back to them."
This is in addition to the famous estimate of 40%, so how about we just add these default approvals to the approximate 40% in order to give it more validity?

Chris Johnson Arrested with a Gun in Florida

Chris Johnson

NFL dot com

Jets running back Chris Johnson was charged and booked in his native Orlando, Florida, on Friday on a second-degree misdemeanor charge of open carrying of weapons/firearms, according to the online records of the Orange County Clerk of Courts.

Orlando Police Department Sergeant Wanda Ford confirmed to NFL Media that Johnson was arrested Friday night.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the 29-year-old was pulled over for rolling through a stop sign, per a source close to the player. The police officer asked to search his car. Johnson cooperated, as he had nothing to hide. The police found his licensed and registered firearm under a book bag under his seat instead of locked up in the car.

The running back just capped off a disappointing season in New York with the Jets

The timing is obviously not fortuitous for Johnson, who will have a new general manager in the coming weeks; one that will decide whether to bring him back.

What do you think this means?: "police found his licensed and registered firearm under a book bag under his seat"

Florida doesn't require licensing and registration. If it was registered in NY, how did he get the gun to Florida without breaking other rules along the way?

In any case, he had just about all the requirements for getting arrested immediately for a gun crime: dreadlocks, neck tattoos, being black.

Fort Bragg Shooting - Wife Mistakes Husband Soldier for Burglar


Here’s what happened. Earlier Friday morning, 28-year-old Zia Segule left the home he shares with his wife Tiffany in Fayetteville. Tiffany stayed in bed, catching some extra sleep.
But at about 10:15 a.m., Zia Segule unexpectedly came back home. He carried a take-out breakfast to surprise his sleeping wife. At least, he thought she was sleeping.
According to police, the soldier did not attempt to sneak into the house. He simply entered through the front door as he normally would. But in the interim between his departure and return, 27-year-old Tiffany had apparently activated the house’s security alarm system.
When Zia Segule walked through the door, the alarm went off.
The police say they still are not sure whether or not Zia attempted to tell his wife that he was home, or if he tried to shut off the alarm. All they say they know for sure is that Tiffany — perhaps nervous due to a series of break-ins in the area recently — pulled out a gun and fired one round sight unseen, through her closed bedroom door.
The shot struck her husband in the chest.
Fayetteville Police Department Spokesperson Antoine Kincaide said that the pistol-packing wife was “doing what she thought was right” and acting in what she thought was self-defense.
“She woke up. She armed herself and she fired a shot through her bedroom door hitting her husband in the chest,” Kincaide recounted.
“Being a female by herself, there are a lot of people out there doing harm, so you have to do what you have to do to protect yourself,” said one understanding neighbor, Jose Estrella. “Even at night, I wake up at night and say ‘Okay, did I just hear something?’ But I wouldn’t open fire just like that.”

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ohio Man Shot by his Friend - No Charges

A 23-year-old Pemberville man who accidentally was shot in the chest by a friend Thursday night remains in serious condition.
Steven Kurtz, 19000 block of Stony Ridge Road in Pemberville, was shot by a 25-year-old Holland man who was cleaning his 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol when the gun fired. 
Sylvania Police Chief William Rhodus said no arrests have been made because the shooting was an accident. There were at least two witnesses, including Mr. Ogle and Mr. Kurtz, the chief said.

Louisiana Man Killed in Accidental Shooting - Shooter Arrested Immediately

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Two people console one another on the scene of a shooting death under investigation by Baton Rouge police the morning of Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 at 4965 Jefferson Avenue near N. Foster Drive.

Local news

A 20-year-old man was accidentally killed on Saturday afternoon when he and an acquaintance were looking at a gun in a Baton Rouge home’s storage room, according to police.
The two men were in a home in the 4900 block of Jefferson Avenue when the gun went off about 12:30 p.m., said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge police spokesman. A single bullet struck Demarcus Rheams in the chest, and he died at the scene, according to McKneely.
Jawan Billy, 19, was holding the gun when it was fired, McKneely said. Billy remained at the scene and was detained for questioning, McKneely said.
“They didn’t have problems before,” McKneely added of the two men. “It wasn’t purposely done.”
Billy was booked Saturday into Parish Prison on counts of negligent homicide and illegal use of a stolen weapon.