Saturday, April 4, 2015

The NRA Annual Meeting in Nashville

I guess our commenters are right.  There wasn't a single mention of Nazi memorabilia or racist shooting targets.  Not a hint of anti-government propaganda either, except of course that little mention of "Obama's gun control agenda." 

And with that music lineup, I'm sure black gun owners will be turning out in droves. 

Yes, I suppose the NRA has truly become, not only gender balanced, but racially balanced as well.  Maybe next week we can get some live images to prove this.

Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady


Long time Anti-Gun leader, Sarah Brady, the widow of former White House Press Secretary James Brady, has died, The Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced today.
She was 73.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said in a Facebook post: “We are heartbroken over the loss of Sarah Brady, our dear friend and Chairperson of the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Sarah was a champion for gun violence prevention and her commitment and fiery compassion will live on.”

China's Last Armed Village

Reuters slide show

A 44-year-old ethnic Miao man Gun Liangma fires his gun during a shooting practice.

Although people in Basha no longer subsist on hunting, guns and gunpowder pots have become part of their traditional dress, and firing towards the sky is a ritual to welcome guests.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Shaneen Allen Pardoned by Gov. Christie

Shaneen Allen
Shaneen Allen


We did it! Thanks to your phone calls and e-mails Shaneen Allen was granted a full pardon by Governor Christie.

The single mother who became victim to New Jersey’s ridiculous and draconian gun laws can finally get her life back.

But our fight is not over! As I stated in my January meetings, “We will stop at nothing and keep fighting for our rights with absolutely no compromise.” This is evidence of our success and Shaneen would not have been pardoned if it was not for our members’ persistent and consistent fight for freedom.

More Fun with Polls

Kansas Gov. Signs Bill Abolishing Concealed Permit Requirement

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback


On April 2 2015, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) signed SB 45, abolishing the need for a concealed carry permit in order to carry a concealed handgun in the state. 

This means Kansas joins Alaska, Arizona, Vermont, and Wyoming in doing away with concealed carry permit requirements and also joins Montana, which has done away with a concealed permit requirement outside of city limits in that state.

The Kansas City Star reports that the new law will go into effect on July 1.

Kansas will continue to offer concealed carry permit courses and licenses for those who want to get them in order to enjoy reciprocity with the 36 other states that recognize Kansas licenses, but no license will be necessary in order to carry inside Kansas’s borders.

When signing the bill, Brownback talked of how “carrying a gun is a constitutional right” and added, “We’re saying if you want to do that in this state, then you don’t have to get a permission slip from the government.”

More Lies, Innuendo, Paranoia and Treason from Bill Whittle

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Firearms Tragedy We Forget About


Could the mental health system have saved the life of Missouri gubernatorial candidate Tom Schweich? His tragic death last month was apparently the result of a single self-administered gunshot wound to the head. He left behind a grieving family and friends, as well as members of the media, who have speculated about what may have driven him to suicide. Was it the result of bullying? Was he a martyr in a fight against anti-Semitism or dirty politics? 

We don't have definitive answers to these questions, and maybe we never will. What we know for certain is that Tom Schweich, like dozens of people in America each day, was a victim of gun violence. If he and 10% of others who attempt suicide by a firearm instead attempted it by taking an overdose of pills, we would have 1,900 fewer suicide fatalities each year.

When we think about gun violence, we don't think of suicide as readily as homicide. But in 2013, more than 20,000 people died from a self-inflicted firearm injury, compared to 11,000 who died from firearm-related homicide. 

The idea of suicide conjures up thoughts of mental health problems such as major depressive disorder or substance use problems. This is reasonable, because between 60% and 90% of individuals worldwide who succeed in their suicide attempt are thought to have a psychiatric disorder; major depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse are the leading conditions associated with suicide.

However, simply focusing on mental illness ignores other contextual issues that connect the thought of suicide to its completion. As many as 40% of people who attempt suicide do so impulsively, research shows. But while many individuals who attempt suicide have a discernible psychiatric condition, some, particularly those engaged in an impulsive suicide attempt, do not. Instead, it is typical that they have been subjected to high levels of stress before the suicide event: intense emotional states that may have been brought about by interpersonal conflict.

Why Do You Own Guns

If You Only News

Overwhelmingly the answer was “because I can.”  OK, sounds pretty simple.  There’s an amendment to the constitution that hasn’t been repealed stating that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.
“A well-organized militia being necessary to the security of a free state,” offers up questions that many demand answers to, but that’s beside the point.

So what are the reasons the modern conservative extremist ammosexual gives for owning a deadly weapon?

Me too.  People who scare me the most are those carrying guns around who are more likely to shoot someone out of fear than for an actual reason.

Why dial 911 when you can be judge, jury and executioner?  Remember the girl who was gunned down on a gun nut’s front porch because she knocked on the door looking for help after an accident?  That homeowner dialed the wrong number for sure.

Gun Suppressors Stay Contentious

SC Times

Director Heather Martens of Protect Minnesota said the lack of suppressor appearances in crimes is due to the prohibition.

"The more available silencers become, the more they are likely to be used in crime," she said in an email.

In 2007, Alaskan lawyer Paul A. Clark wrote in Western Criminology Review: "One might conclude that if silencers were more common their use in crime would also increase, but there is no real way to tell."

"Since one can effectively muffle a firearm by doing nothing more than wrapping it in a towel it is unlikely that laws banning professionally manufactured (or home-made) silencers are likely to have any real effect on crime," he wrote.

Howe said would-be troublemakers would use "some backyard method" to suppress the sound of a gun.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Strong Opposition to Constitutional Carry

Huffington Post

A vast majority of likely 2016 voters oppose legislation that would allow gun owners to carry their concealed weapons without a permit, according to a new national poll released Wednesday. 

The poll, shared first with The Huffington Post and conducted on behalf of Everytown for Gun Safety, a coalition of gun control groups, was done to assess public attitudes toward carrying concealed weapons. The issue is a timely one, as three state legislatures -- in West Virginia, Kansas and Montana -- are considering rolling back some of their permit requirements. 

Everytown found that 88 percent of likely 2016 voters oppose concealed carry without a permit, and 57 percent of voters said they would be less likely to support a candidate who voted to allow concealed carry without a permit. 

Even 80 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of gun owners opposed concealed carry without a permit. 

States Look to Throw Open School Doors to Concealed Weapons


State lawmakers in nearly 20 states this spring are considering, or have recently considered, bills that would allow guns in k12 schools or on college campuses — including Colorado, Texas, Nevada, Florida, and Georgia. 

“There’s definitely a lot of activity this year. In terms of higher ed, we had eight states with bills last year, and now we have 15 — and even one would be absolutely unacceptable,” said Andy Pelosi, executive director of The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus.

Among the state legislation under current consideration is a bill in Colorado that would allow any individual with a concealed-weapon permit the right to carry guns into K12 schools. One of its chief proponents is a lawmaker who was a sophomore at Columbine High School during the 1999 shooting. But among its opponents is Colorado third-grade teacher Katie Lyles, an NEA member and also a Columbine survivor, who was spurred by the Sandy Hook in school shootings in 2012 to speak up for gun safety.

“I think [the CO bill] a really short-sighted, reactive solution,” Lyles told National Public Radio. “I feel like we need to be looking at a different conversation. And that conversation is, how do we prevent violence from even entering that school.”

Moreover, how do guns and kids safely mix, she asked. “”If I had a gun, kids are around me all of the time. They’re giving me hugs. So where do I keep that gun?”

According to the California-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the vast majority of states (all except Hawaii and New Hampshire) generally prohibit guns from K12 schools, but there are exceptions. For example, concealed-carry permit holders can carry their firearms into K12 schools in 11 states — including Utah, where an elementary school teacher accidentally shot herself in the leg in a teachers’ bathroom in September.

2015 State Gun Law Trendwatch

Smart Gun Laws

Positive Trends

Negative Trends

Being Armed and Trained is Not the Answer


Months before Illinois became the last state in the union to legalize “conceal carry,” a droll cartoon ran in the local papers. A masked man threatens another with a handgun, saying “Hand over all your valuables.”

“Nope, I’m armed,” says the would-be victim. “Just give me one minute to get my concealed gun out of its holster.”
Sunday Comic_ Will Concealed Carry Be Good for Illinois? - Evans
The armed citizen movement, driven by gun makers and whipped up fear of “bad guys,” is predicated on the self-defense that carrying provides. Yet if being armed and looking for trouble were true protection, would law enforcement officers ever be killed?

It has been two years since Kaufman County, Texas District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia were shot to death in their home.

Mike McLelland carried a gun even when he walked his dog and his wife Cynthia also had a license to carry a concealed handgun. “There were guns hidden all over the house,” his son, J. R. McLelland, told the New York Times. “Behind doors, everywhere. He could have been standing next to a .40-caliber Glock and you would not have known it. When they said that he got shot, it was unbelievable because he was so well-armed and so well-versed in guns.”

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Gun Rights Idiocy

Tennessee Woman - Concealed Carry Permit Holder - Charged After Errant Bullet Nearly Strikes Child

Local news reports via Southern Beale

An argument between a woman and her fiancé ended with a gun going off, just barely missing a young child.

Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said 26-year-old Theresa Steward and her fiancé were arguing Friday night in the driveway of their home on Blairfield Drive.

During the course of the fight, investigators said Steward pulled out her pistol.

After things cooled off, she was pulling the gun back into its holster when it went off. The bullet went flying out of her car and shattered the window of a nearby vehicle.

A child happened to be in that car. Officials said the child was not hit with the bullet, but glass from the shattered window got into the child’s eye.

Steward was placed under arrest and charged with aggravated child endangerment of a child under 8 years old. She was booked into the Davidson County Criminal Justice Center and later released.

There was no word on the condition of the child.

Four Open-Carry Activists Die In Tragic Accident, Sheriff Calls Homeland Security


Brady Center Loses Lawsuit Targeting Online Ammo Sellers

From SJ

Mike, Since you like to trumpet these lawsuits whenever they're filed, most recently the one filed by families from Newtown, have you seen the outcome of the Aurora lawsuit?

Firearms Policy

Article asks a good question: Wonder if Brady Center will pay the legal fees or leave the plaintiffs to pay the frivolous lawsuit penalties for the suit they encouraged them to file.

In an order released yesterday, Senior U.S. District Judge Richard P. Matsch ruled against the plaintiffs in the case of Sandy Phillips, et al., v. Lucky Gunner, LLC., et al. 

Sandy and Lonnie Phillips are the parents of Jessica Ghawi, one of the victims of the Aurora movie theater shooting. The lawsuit was backed by the anti-gun Brady Center.

According to a September 2014 report by ABC 7 News in Denver, the lawsuit accused “the four online suppliers of ammunition and military-grade equipment of failing to screen the gunman and making it too easy for him to buy ammunition, tear gas and body armor.”

“We’re putting them on notice, we’re coming after you,” Lonnie Phillips was reported as saying.
Apparently, the law had something else to say about that.

The case was dismissed for failure to overcome the industry protections in the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (15 U.S.C. § 7901 et seq.), also known as PLCAA, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2005. The plaintiffs’ arguments were also found to collapse under a similar state law that protects the firearms community from frivolous and harassing tort claims.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Suspect Fired at Police with No Warning

Image result for Angelo West
Officer John Moynihan and  Angelo West

Local news reports

The Hyde Park man accused of shooting a Boston police officer in the face at point-blank range had a “violent criminal past,” authorities said Saturday, and court records showed he had recently completed probation for opening fire at officers during a 2001 struggle. 

Police said officers fatally shot Angelo West, 41, Friday after he fired a .357 Magnum at Officer John Moynihan, striking the six-year veteran under the eye with a bullet that lodged behind his right ear, in what was called a “completely unprovoked attack.” 

Police Commissioner William B. Evans said surveillance video showed West firing upon Moynihan after the officer approached the driver’s side of a silver Nissan Murano that they had pulled over. 

“You just clearly see the driver come out of that driver’s side and his hand’s going up as he comes out,” Evans said. “Point-blank he shoots the officer right in the face.”

Gun-Lovin' GOP Presidential Candidates

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) fires his AR-15 with the Army insignia at Sharpshooters Gun Club & Range in Greenville, S.C., on Aug. 16, 2013. (Courtesy of Sen. Lindsey O. Graham)

Washington Post

There are 15 noteworthy contenders for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Together, they own at least 40 guns.

Some of them have been building their collections since childhood. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) is up to 12 now, including an AR-15 assault weapon that he has talked about using if law and order ever breaks down in his neighborhood. Former Texas governor Rick Perry is so well-armed, he has a gun for jogging.

Others were city kids who didn’t own guns until later in life. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) bought a .357 magnum revolver in 2010, the year he ran for Senate, saying the gun was for protection.

Two other city-bred presidential hopefuls — former Florida governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — don’t own a gun at all.

The stories behind how the GOP presidential contenders got their guns — or, in some cases, why they didn’t — are as diverse as the field itself.

Nevertheless, their political views on guns are almost all the same.

Nearly every GOP contender is broadly opposed to new limits on the purchase or use of guns. 

In fact, with the exception of Christie — the field’s one true outlier — those who have been rated by the National Rifle Association range from A-plus all the way down to . . . A-minus. Eleven of them are scheduled to appear next month at the NRA’s annual conference.

Texas "No Guns Allowed" Signs

Dropped Gun in Mississippi - 8-Year-old Critical - The News for South Mississippi

9 Things Many Americans Just Don’t Grasp (Compared to the Rest of the World)

To hear the far-right ideologues of Fox News and AM talk radio tell it, life in Europe is hell on Earth. Taxes are high, sexual promiscuity prevails, universal healthcare doesn’t work, and millions of people don’t even speak English as their primary language! Those who run around screaming about “American exceptionalism” often condemn countries like France, Norway and Switzerland to justify their jingoism. Sadly, the U.S.’ economic deterioration means that many Americans simply cannot afford a trip abroad to see how those countries function for themselves. And often, lack of foreign travel means accepting clichés about the rest of the world over the reality. And that lack of worldliness clouds many Americans' views on everything from economics to sex to religion. 

Here are nine things Americans can learn from the rest of the world.

3. American Exceptionalism Is Absolute Nonsense in 2015

No matter how severe the U.S.’ decline becomes, neocons and the Tea Party continue to espouse their belief in “American exceptionalism.” But in many respects, the U.S. of 2015 is far from exceptional. The U.S. is not exceptional when it comes to civil liberties (no country in the world incarcerates, per capita, more of its people than the U.S.) or healthcare (WHO ranks the U.S. #37 in terms of healthcare). Nor is the U.S. a leader in terms of life expectancy: according to the WHO, overall life expectancy in the U.S. in 2013 was 79 compared to 83 in Switzerland and Japan, 82 in Spain, France, Italy, Sweden and Canada and 81 in the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Austria and Finland.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fritz Walker: Change Rules So Suspected Terrorists Can't Buy Guns in U.S.

The Morning Call

The Terrorist Watchlist is not to be confused with the no-fly list. There have been some well-publicized issues with the no-fly list, which have been used to raise false concerns over this legislation. The Terrorist Watchlist tracks very dangerous persons, for whom denial of an attempt to purchase firearms or explosives should be a no-brainer.

Among the objective criteria for inclusion on the Terrorist Watchlist are active membership in an organization devoted to jihad, a record of transfers of money to a terrorist organization, and the incitement of acts of terrorism. Only a small percentage of persons on the list are U.S. citizens. Legitimate civil libertarian concerns should be allayed by the fact that there is an appeals process for those who claim they have been misidentified.

Concern over this gaping loophole in our safeguards against terrorism on American soil is no idle pipedream. The Government Accounting Office recently reported that between February 2004 and December 2014, individuals on the watch list attempted to purchase firearms or explosives on 2,233 occasions — and more than 90 percent of the time, they cleared a background check and received approval to buy.

Inspection of the NRA-ILA's objections shows them to mostly consist of unrealistic paranoia. The fact is almost any law could hypothetically be administered in a way that threatens civil liberties. That's no excuse for blocking important public safeguards.

Gun Rights Activist Nikki Goeser

"I'll never know if I coulda stopped my stalker from killing my husband."

That's not very honest of Nikki.  Better would have been to admit that in all probability, she couldn't have stopped the killer even if she'd been armed at the time.  The fact is when a sick person pulls out a gun and kills another, it's nearly impossible to stop them in time.  You'd have to be in the exact right place at the exact right time, and even then it might be too late.

No, allowing guns in bars would not help, it would hurt.

Gun-rights Advocate’s Rosa Parks Comparison is Deplorable

Local News

I can’t believe that the Post-Gazette would use valuable space writing a huge article talking up someone like Kim Stolfer (“Gun-Rights Advocate Kim Stolfer a Powerful Force in Harrisburg,” March 15). And you couldn’t have picked a worse time to sing his praises.

As an African-American woman who lost her son, Jamar Hawkins, to an illegal gun in November 2013 and as a lifetime resident of Homewood and Penn Hills, I am sickened by Mr. Stolfer and his organization. His “all guns, all the time” agenda is bad enough, but recently he had the nerve to say that a gun-rights rally over an ordinance in Lower Merion, Pa., was “a Rosa Parks moment.”
That’s not just the wrong thing to say — it’s just wrong.

The last I checked, Mr. Stolfer has never been denied access to a seat on the bus, access to a public restroom, access to a job or access to a vote because of his skin color. And I can’t believe that he or anyone he knows has lost his life because some town didn’t want him to fire or to carry his gun in a park.