Friday, June 19, 2015

Jon Stewart on the South Carolina Shooting

You guys love to talk about responsibility, right? Well, aside from that jerk-off who did the deed, I blame all of you who favor such weak or non-existent gun laws that a guy as dangerous as he is could get guns as easily as he did.

Shame on you.

Connecticut Dad Gets Special Probation for Shooting his 11-Year-old Son in the Face

Vincent Pizzolato, of Monroe, accused of accidentally shooting his 11-year-old son in the face while he was securing his wife's gun, was granted a special form of probation Thursday, June 18, 2015. Photo: Brian A. Pounds / File Photo / Connecticut Post
Vincent Pizzolato

 Local news

A Monroe father, accused of accidentally shooting his 11-year-old son in the face while securing his wife’s gun, was granted a special form of probation Thursday.
While Superior Court Judge Earl Richards said he considered the incident to be serious, he was gratified the boy suffered no permanent injuries and said he was convinced the father, Vincent Pizzolato, would not commit criminal acts in the future. Richards granted the 44-year-old Pizzolato accelerated rehabilitation.

Under accelerated rehabilitation, Pizzolato, who was charged with second-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment and unlawful discharge of a firearm for the March 8 incident, did not plead guilty to the crime but was placed on two years’ probation. If he commits no crimes during that probation, the charges against him will be dismissed.

Police said Pizzolato and his wife had earlier returned home from target practice at the Bridgeport Shooting range. Pizzolato had taken both guns into the basement and, after putting his own gun into a safe, he began securing his wife’s Ruger 9mm semi-automatic handgun. At the time, their son was in the adjoining basement TV room playing video games.

Police said Pizzolato told them he had his wife’s gun pointed at the wall separating the two rooms as he checked the chamber and magazine, both which appeared empty. He pulled the trigger and the gun fired, the bullet piercing a plastic rifle case and the sheetrock wall before hitting his son.

The South Carolina Shooter - Dylann Roof

Dylann Roof

The Guardian

Roof is from the town of Eastover, around 150 km north-west of Charleston. According to the state law enforcement division, he was arrested on 1 March 2015 for drug possession and again on 26 April on a trespassing charge.

Roof's uncle told Reuters he recognised his nephew from the CCTV image (above) and that he had received a gun for his 21st birthday in April. A photograph from Roof's Facebook page shows him wearing a jacket with the historical flags of apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) on it.

Dylann Roof was stopped in his car and arrested, following a tip-off, on Thursday 18 June in the city of Shelby, North Carolina around 400 km north-west of Charleston.

During the manhunt police described him as "highly dangerous" and said they had "no doubt" the shooting was a hate crime.

Remove the Confederate Flag

I'm Karen Hunter, a fellow MoveOn member, and I started a petition to the South Carolina Legislature and Governor Nikki Haley.

On the heels of the brutal killing of nine black people in a South Carolina church, it's time to put a symbol of rebellion and racism behind us and move toward healing and a better United States of America.1

Can you join me in telling South Carolina lawmakers:

Symbols of hate and division have no place in our government. It's time to stand up for what's right and take down the Confederate flag!

The Confederate flag is not a symbol of southern pride but rather a symbol of rebellion and racism.

Tell South Carolina lawmakers: Symbols of hate have no place in our government.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pfleger: Ban High Capacity Magazines - Title Guns like Cars - Blame the Gun Manufacturers

Fr. Michael Pfleger


A face-to-face showdown between one of Chicago's most outspoken anti-gun lobbyists and the Illinois State Rifle Association took place Thursday night.

A little more than a week ago, Father Pfleger called out the NRA saying the gun group had blood on its hands because of the violence in Chicago and elsewhere.

So, dozens of NRA members and other gun rights supporters turned out to hear what Father Pleger had to say, and they were not pleased.

“We should ban assault weapons in America. We should ban high capacity magazines in America. We should title guns like cars in America,” said Father Pfleger of St. Sabina Church.

Father Pfleger was fired up as he called for more restrictive gun laws as one way to help quell the violence that has become an epidemic in Chicago. He also called out the NRA and the Gun Lobby for blocking tougher laws that Pfleger says shows those groups are more interested in profits than in making the streets safer.

“And when the gun manufacturers make less money, the gun lobbyists get paid less money. So that's why they don't want responsibility. That's why they don't want to stop easy access. Because it's a business and nobody wants to touch the money. Well, the hell with the money. Life is more important than money,” Father Pfleger said.

Carol Bowne - The Latest Poster Girl - May She Rest in Peace

bowne Michael Eitel
At left, Carol Bowne, 39, who was fatally stabbed outside her Berlin home late Wednesday. Right, Michael Eitel, 45, an ex-boyfriend of Bowne's, is sought in connection with the incident.

NJ dot com

Thirty days. Or is it two to three months?

Berlin Township police Chief Leonard Check said at his department, it's the latter when it comes to approving firearms permits and involves multiple organizations coordinating to give the green light.

Scott Bach, the executive director of the Sussex County-headquartered Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, couldn't stress the former time frame enough.

"Permitting authorities are notorious for violating state-mandated time frames," said Bach, citing state criminal code that requires an application be granted within 30 days.

Either way, when Carol Bowne was fatally stabbed by an ex-boyfriend late Wednesday night just outside her Berlin home, she had been waiting since mid April.

Although the 39-year-old longtime hair stylist had filed a restraining order against suspect Michael Eitel, 45, the man allegedly attacked her shortly after 10 p.m. upon Bowne's arrival at her Patton Avenue home.

The Camden County Prosecutor's Office, who is aiding in the search for the suspect who remains at large, did not plan to release additional information pertaining to the case on Friday.

According to reports, Bowne submitted her application for a gun license on April 21 and went to see where the process stood two days before her death. Reports also indicate the police department had not yet received the results of her fingerprinting.

"This woman's life was tragically taken because of New Jersey gun laws," said Bach.

End Mass Incarceration Now

Robert Reich says that there's nothing just about our criminal justice system. It's racist and destructive. It's not making us safer. And it's a disaster for our economy.

Posted by on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Breaking News: Shooting at South Carolina Historic Church - Multiple Victims



A shooting has been reported at a historic black church in Charleston in the US state of South Carolina, with multiple casualties feared.

US media said the incident happened on Thursday evening at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Charleston police later tweeted that they were searching for a white male suspect in his 20s after the shooting at 110 Calhoun Street.

A meeting was going on at the time of the shooting at about 21:00 local time (01:00 GMT Thursday), US media say.

In a tweet, Charleston police wrote: "Suspect in shooting on Calhoun St is a w/m approx 21 slender small build wearing a grey sweat shirt blue jeans timberland boots clean shaven."

A man was later seen being led away by police officers, but it was unclear whether he was the suspected gunman.

"I will say that this is an unspeakable and heartbreaking tragedy in this most historic church," Charleston Mayor Joe Riley was quoted as saying by the Post and Courier newspaper.

Using Guns In Self-Defense Is Rare, Study Finds

Huffington Post

American gun owners are far more likely to injure themselves or someone else with their firearm than to stop a criminal, according to a new study from a group calling for tighter gun control. 

The study, released Wednesday by the Violence Policy Center, found there were 258 justifiable homicides involving civilians using firearms in 2012, compared with 8,342 murders by gun. Even if a criminal isn't shot down, the study found that civilians rarely use guns to protect themselves. 

"Intended victims of property crimes engaged in self-protective behavior with a firearm" only 0.1 percent of the times they were targeted by a crook. 

The report, titled "Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use" relied on FBI and Bureau of Justice data. The Violence Policy Center said the report disproves the premise of arguments by the National Rifle Association that more guns in the hands of regular people will reduce crime.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

More Humorous Gun Lore - Ronald Reagan ‘Carried His Own Gun’ While President


While doing research for his newest book, The President’s Shadow (, author Brad Meltzer came across an interesting fact at Secret Service headquarters: Ronald Reagan “carried his own gun” with him while president.

Meltzer was not able to determine if Reagan carried the gun from day one of his presidency, or if he began carrying after the failed March 30, 1981, attempt on his life.

According to the Daily Mail, Meltzer was in Secret Service headquarters looking at “the actual car door from the limousine where Reagan was shot.” He described the door as an “eerie keepsake,” but said it was nothing to compare to the surprise he received when an agent told him Reagan “carried his own gun.”

Meltzer said he did not believe it initially, and the agent said it was “a .38 [and] Reagan used to hide it in his briefcase and take it on Air Force One.”

Open-Carrying Guy Has His Brand-New Pistol Stolen at Gunpoint

An Oregon man taking advantage of the state's open carry laws had his new semiautomatic pistol stolen at gunpoint early Saturday morning, and apparently didn't put up a fight.

Gresham, Ore., police say former gun owner William Coleman III was talking to his cousin on the street around 2 a.m., openly displaying the Walther P22 he had purchased Friday. 

According to the Oregonian, Coleman told cops a 20-something man walked up to the two and asked for a cigarette. When he noticed Coleman's gun, the stranger pulled his own pistol from the waistband of his sweatpants.

"I like your gun, give it to me," Coleman says the robber told him. He complied, and the man walked away with the gun. 

Open carry is legal in Multnomah County with or without a concealed weapons license, but even gun rights advocates think Coleman made a huge mistake by flaunting his new firearm.

Beyonce Attended Bilderberg Group Meeting This Year?

From George Jefferson with the following remark: "US Dept of Education..Money well spent?‏"

Perhaps he can give us some background.  I dind't understand what the repealing of the 1st Amendment would have to do with police brutality.

And, I sure hope George didn't think this was a straight-up sampling of random prople's opinions. I'd imagine they had to screen quite a few passersby in order to cull that ridiculous sampling.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dallas Police Shooter’s Father Says ‘liberal people’ Drove Son to ‘Breaking Point’

Jim Boulware (CNN)
Jim Boulware

Raw Story

“Every one of us has a breaking point,” said Jim Boulware. “He hit his.”

A police sniper shot and killed 35-year-old James Boulware — described as a conspiracy theorist who had made threats against schools, churches, and family members – after he fired gunshots and detonated explosive devices shortly after midnight Saturday at the police station.

His father told CNN his son was enraged at police – who the younger man blamed for taking away his son in a custody battle.

Jim Boulware said liberal policies had spurred a Child Protective Services investigation after he choked his mother two years ago, which landed him in jail for three weeks – until his father bailed him out.

“I knew he was angry at police, he blamed them for taking his son,” the elder Boulware said. “I tried to tell him the police didn’t do it. The police were doing their job to enforce the laws. If you want to get to that, you’ve got to go back to the liberal people that put these laws in place, to where CPS and all can grab kids.”

Federal Court Says Police Can (Should) Stop Open Carriers

Guns dot com

The U.S. District Court of Michigan ruled earlier this month that law enforcement officers have the authority to stop an individual if the person is open carrying a firearm – to do so is not a violation of any constitutional rights.

The decision was the result of a lawsuit that was filed in December 2013 by Johann Deffert following a confrontation with two officers in Grand Rapids nine months prior.

On the day in question, Deffert was walking down a street with a holstered FNP-45 tactical pistol when a woman called 911. The caller seemed rather surprised to learn from the dispatcher that open carry is legal in the state of Michigan, but as the conversation progressed, the woman explained to the dispatcher that although Deffert wasn’t threatening anyone, she found his appearance alarming, in part because she thought he may have also been wearing camouflage.

Officer William Moe was the first to arrive on the scene and his interaction with Deffert – which lasted a total of 14 minutes – was captured by the officer’s dash cam. Moe indicated he believed Deffert may have been suffering from mental illness, as he appeared to be “talking to nobody” as the officer drove up. It was later determined that Deffert was in fact boisterously singing the song “Hakuna Matata” from the Disney film “The Lion King” as he strolled down the road.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Self-defense or Illegal Homicide? Is 'stand-your-ground' Evolving?

Local news

Media-touted FBI "Mass Shooting" Report (Supposedly) Debunked


A misleading 2014 FBI report that fueled media claims that mass shooting incidents in the U.S. are rising sharply has been thoroughly debunked. In a piece appearing in the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences' March 2015 ACJS Today newsletter, Economist John R. Lott carefully lays out the flaws in the Bureaus' "A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013" report.

First, Lott takes the media to task for misrepresenting the underlying scope of the report, and for FBI's failure to adequately explain the content to its readers. Rather than track mass shootings or murders, the report in fact attempts to track "active shooter incidents." This is significant because it encompasses events where no one was shot or killed.

Despite this, media outlets ran sensational headlines, like the New York Times', "F.B.I. Confirms a Sharp Rise in Mass Shootings Since 2000." Lott contends that FBI exacerbated this misperception, noting, "The report discusses mass public shootings, but it never makes it clear to the readers that these types of fatalities and attacks are actually not increasing over time."

First of all, John Lott calling someone else's work misleading is too funny for words.  The word that does come to mind is hypocrisy, of course.  Secondly, I thought the FBI had the final word in these matters, or is that only when it fits the gun fanatics' narrative?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fatal Police Shootings in 2015 Approaching 400 Nationwide

Washington Post

A national debate is raging about police use of deadly force, especially against minorities. To understand why and how often these shootings occur, The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting by police in 2015, as well as of every officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty. The Post looked exclusively at shootings, not killings by other means, such as stun guns and deaths in police custody.
Using interviews, police reports, local news accounts and other sources, The Post tracked more than a dozen details about each killing through Friday, including the victim’s race, whether the person was armed and the circumstances that led to the fatal encounter. The result is an unprecedented examination of these shootings, many of which began as minor incidents and suddenly escalated into violence.

Among The Post’s findings:

●About half the victims were white, half minority. But the demographics shifted sharply among the unarmed victims, two-thirds of whom were black or Hispanic. Overall, blacks were killed at three times the rate of whites or other minorities when adjusting by the population of the census tracts where the shootings occurred.

Restricting Firearms Access for People Who Misuse Alcohol May (Would Definitely) Prevent Violence

UC Davis

Restricting access to firearms for people who misuse alcohol could prevent firearm violence, but policies that more clearly define alcohol misuse should be developed to facilitate enforcement, according to a review of existing research and public policies by the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program.

The analysis, published online April 30 in the peer-reviewed journal Preventive Medicine, summarizes studies on binge drinking and other forms of alcohol misuse in association with firearm access and use, including firearm violence. It also describes the shortcomings of existing policies designed to restrict access to firearms among those who are at high risk for violence due to alcohol misuse—particularly people with multiple prior convictions for alcohol-related offenses such as driving while under the influence (DUI).

“Both acute alcohol intoxication and chronic alcohol misuse are strongly associated with risk for committing firearm violence, whether that violence is directed at others or at oneself,” said Garen J. Wintemute, professor of emergency medicine, founding director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program and expert on gun violence as a public health problem.

“In any given month, an estimated 8.9 million to 11.7 million firearm owners binge drink. Both binge drinking and heavy chronic drinking are more common among firearm owners than in the general population. For men, there are as many alcohol-associated deaths from firearm violence as from motor vehicle crashes,” he said.

10 States with the Most Gun Violence

24/7 Wall St.

More than two-thirds of all homicides in the United States are gun-related. Of the 16,121 homicides reported in 2013, 11,208 were caused by gun violence. Including suicides, nearly 34,000 people died in gun-related incidents in 2013, up 13.8% from 10 years earlier. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keeps track of the number of gun-related deaths in each state. Fatalities include homicides, suicides, and accidents. The frequency of firearm-related deaths varies considerably across the country. In Hawaii, the state with the fewest gun-related fatalities, there were just 2.6 firearm-associated deaths per 100,000 people. In Alaska, on the other hand, there were nearly 20 gun-related deaths per 100,000 residents, the most of any state. 24/7 Wall St. examined the 10 states with the highest gun-related deaths.

Click here to see the 10 states with the most gun violence. 

Suicide is the leading cause of gun-related deaths across the country in recent years. Of the 33,636 firearm deaths in 2013, more than 21,000 were suicides. In fact, suicide accounted for more than half of gun-related deaths in all but one state with the most gun violence. In three states — Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming — suicide accounted for more than 80% of all firearm deaths.

24/7 Wall St. discussed the CDC’s figures with John Roman, senior fellow at the Urban Institute, an economic and social policy think tank. Roman explained that states with the highest rates of suicide often have the strongest culture of gun ownership in the country. “There are many more suicides in places where it’s easy to get a gun,” he said.

While federal gun laws are uniform across the country, state regulations vary, offering more lax or more strict approaches to firearm use. Seven of the 10 states with the most firearm deaths in 2013 have enacted stand your ground laws. In keeping with a state’s culture, Roman explained, many states with these laws likely also have laws that make it easier to possess firearms and buy ammunition.

In fact, none of the states with the most gun violence require permits to purchase rifles, shotguns, or handguns. Gun owners are also not required to register their weapons in any of these states. Meanwhile, many of the states with the least gun violence require a permit or other form of identification to buy a gun.

Gun-related homicides were also relatively frequent in the states with the most gun violence. Nationally, there were 3.61 homicides per 100,000 people. Seven of the the 10 states with the most gun violence reported homicide rates higher than the national rate. Louisiana is one of only four states in the country where homicides accounted for a larger share of firearm deaths than suicides. In 2013, Louisiana reported nearly 10 homicides per 100,000 residents, the highest rate in the country.