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Archive for the ‘gun issues’ Category

” I’m a 29 year old american who has never once had a good enough job to have health insurance…………….”

Posted by Charles II on June 9, 2014

I’m a 29 year old american who has never once had a good enough job to have health insurance…

That’s a quote from Jerad Miller who, with his wife Amanda Woodruff, carried out a brutal mass killing in Las Vegas. The quote comes from Dana Liebelson’s article in Mother Jones.

There are a lot of things in the article that we should pay attention to. For example, the central role of Alex Jones’ InfoWars in stoking violence. There are always hucksters like Jones out there, willing to turn American against American for a buck. But since Glenn Beck’s eclipse, he’s the nail standing up.

Miller’s story is almost archetypal of our age. A young man, born into an affluent society and told at every step that if one just has the will to make it, one can. But the society is failing, drained by war and the slow rot of democracy under the relentless power of money, unable to provide the sort of opportunity that it provided as little as a generation ago. And so the young man falls first into crime, for which he is unprepared, then into poverty and chronic failure, then into conspiracism, and from there, into a desire to die violently. If he were African American, the story would likely be unknown, though it is the norm in places like East St. Louis (Sam Seder interviewed Goldie Taylor today). Miller and Woodruff were white and they killed strangers. So, their story is all over the news.

I lean libertarian on guns. I do understand why people want to regulate them to reduce the lethality of semiautomatic weapons and I know that we are paralyzed with inaction because of the corruption of Washington by the gun industry, and its lobbyists, the NRA. But as long as young people, especially young men, are deprived of a meaningful shot at achieving the American Dream through legal, non-violent means, these mass murders will continue.

Until this country comes to its senses, we can continue to build on the foundation laid by Medicare, Medicaid, S-Chip, and Obamacare to make sure that no person ever needs to write the words:

I have not seen a dentists in 14 years. I take good care of my teeth. The job market has been horrible. The few temporary jobs i find havent been able to earn me enough money to go see a dentist. Since I dont have insurance or medicaid the cost is around 500 to 1000 dollars. So as I sit here in agony, taking the penasilin the ER perscribed me I contemplate the state of things here in the good old USA. How the Gov. spends billions of dollars on the war on drugs and all these missles and bombs to kill people. I think about all that money that could do to helping people instead. Creating jobs, creating happy, healthy people. I dont want a hand out. I just need a foundation to stand on. One that wont be pulled out from under me as soon as i step up on it. I’m a 29 year old american who has never once had a good enough job to have health insurance……………. I dont know what else to say.

Posted in gun issues, health care, poverty | 1 Comment »

When they come for your guns, they’ll have the make, model, and address from the NRA

Posted by Charles II on August 21, 2013

Via Atrios, Buzzfeed’s Steve Friess:

WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Association has rallied gun-owners — and raised tens of millions of dollars — campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners.

But in fact, the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners. It is housed in the Virginia offices of the NRA itself.

The NRA won’t say how many names and what other personal information is in its database, but former NRA lobbyist Richard Feldman estimates they keep tabs on “tens of millions of people.”

It’s not just the government that has too much information about the American people. Corporations and non-profits, too.

Posted in gun issues, privacy | 1 Comment »

A good deed from an unexpected corner

Posted by Charles II on April 24, 2013

Jim Jelter, Marketwatch:

SAN FRANCISO (MarketWatch) — General Electric Co(GE)’ financial unit, GE Capital, is cutting off lending to guns shops, according to a report Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal that cited letters sent by the company to several gun shop owners. “Industry changes, new legislation and tragic events” led GE Capital to reexamine its policies on financing firearms, spokesman Russell Wilkerson told the Journal.

Things are changing, and this change is good.

Posted in gun issues | 1 Comment »

How the gun industry funds the NRA

Posted by Charles II on February 18, 2013

Kos linked an important Business Insider article by Walter Hickey that explains the mechanism by which the gun industry funds the NRA. This is a very important distinction to get. As long as public anger is focused on the NRA, it is not focused on the manufacturers. As I think it was Rachel pointed out, Wayne LaPierre is the rodeo clown who keeps the heat off The People Who Matter:

Since 2005, the gun industry and its corporate allies have given between $20 million and $52.6 million to it through the NRA Ring of Freedom sponsor program. Donors include firearm companies like Midway USA, Springfield Armory Inc, Pierce Bullet Seal Target Systems, and Beretta USA Corporation. Other supporters from the gun industry include Cabala’s, Sturm Rugar & Co, and Smith & Wesson.

The NRA also made $20.9 million — about 10 percent of its revenue — from selling advertising to industry companies marketing products in its many publications in 2010, according to the IRS Form 990.

Additionally, some companies donate portions of sales directly to the NRA. Crimson Trace, which makes laser sights, donates 10 percent of each sale to the NRA. Taurus buys an NRA membership for everyone who buys one of their guns. Sturm Rugar gives $1 to the NRA for each gun sold, which amounts to millions. The NRA’s revenues are intrinsically linked to the success of the gun business.

The NRA Foundation also collects hundreds of thousands of dollars from the industry, which it then gives to local-level organizations for training and equipment purchases.

The chief trade association for gun manufacturers is the National Shooting Sports Federation, which is, incidentally, located in Newtown, Conn. But the NRA takes front and center after each and every shooting.

“Today’s NRA is a virtual subsidiary of the gun industry,” said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center.

It’s possible that without the NRA, people would be protesting outside of Glock, SIG Sauer and Freedom Group — the makers of the guns used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre — and dragging the CEOs in front of cameras and Congress. That is certainly what happened to tobacco executives when their products continued killing people.

This is what the gun industry is protecting:

The photos show an arsenal of weapons the reader just legally bought including a Russian made Saiga-12 shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle, a huge cache of ammo, and several accessories.

The reader bought the shotgun at a gun show where there was no wait or background check. He left with the Saiga, a 30-round drum, a 10-round magazine, and an additional 5-round magazine. On top of that he added night vision, three laser sights, and a tactical light.

the reader has been in plenty of legal trouble.

In addition to a restraining order, and time in jail for violating it, the reader was tried for conspiracy to commit murder against his wife.

Yeah, yeah, innocent until proven guilty.

Start the dragging.

Posted in corruption, evil, gun issues | Comments Off on How the gun industry funds the NRA

Problem: not liking the truth. Solution: silence the people telling it.

Posted by Charles II on December 24, 2012

Via Barry Ritholtz, Arthur Kellerman and Frederick Rivara describe how the Republicans in Congress shut down research on the nature of gun violence:

The nation might be in a better position to act if medical and public health researchers had continued to study these issues as diligently as some of us did between 1985 and 1997. But in 1996, pro-gun members of Congress mounted an all-out effort to eliminate the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although they failed to defund the center, the House of Representatives removed $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget—precisely the amount the agency had spent on firearm injury research the previous year. Funding was restored in joint conference committee, but the money was earmarked for traumatic brain injury. The effect was sharply reduced support for firearm injury research.

To ensure that the CDC and its grantees got the message, the following language was added to the final appropriation: “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

When other agencies funded high-quality research, similar action was taken….Congress extended the restrictive language it had previously applied to the CDC to all Department of Health and Human Services agencies, including the National Institutes of Health

These are not the only efforts to keep important health information from the public and patients.

For example,
* Florida and Washington State have sealed their records against the dangers of research.
* The National Defense Authorization Act forbids commanders from discussing private weapons with the servicemembers under their command, even if they fear suicide.

It’s very important that we not discuss the bodies piling up in shopping malls and schools. It’s very important that we silence any questioning of activities that lead to profits by the manufacturers of firearms.

Posted in gun issues | Comments Off on Problem: not liking the truth. Solution: silence the people telling it.

I liked this solution

Posted by Charles II on December 23, 2012


(via Mark Karlin. I do think Karlin is wrong when he thinks that all gun owners have anger management problems, but he certainly did illustrate his point)

Posted in gun issues | 1 Comment »

Guns don’t kill people.

Posted by Charles II on December 14, 2012

Gun manufacturers do.

It’s difficult to know exactly what the role of the manufacturers is in the current witches brew around the right to bear arms. There are so many paranoid people who fund organizations like Gun Owners of America and the NRA that the manufacturers probably find the work of stirring fear to be easy. But there is no doubt that they made their thirty pieces of silver off the sale of the weapons that killed 20 kids in Connecticut.. and that every time there is a mass murder, someone spreads fear that Obama is going to take your guns away–and the manufacturers make more money than ever.

I support the right of mentally-stable, non-violent people to own guns. I do not support the right of corporations to whip up mass fear or to buy legislation and elections. This country has a problem with young men who think that the way to resolve issues is through violence. We need to deal with it.
Update2: Ezra Klein has an article worth reading.

Update: We have a worst person nominee:

On Friday some pro-gun groups took to Twitter urging people to buy guns: Conservative pundit Ann Coulter tweeted “more guns, less mass shootings” in the wake of the event.

and Stormcrow adds a second:


And another:

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee attributed the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in part to restrictions on school prayer and religious materials in the classroom.

“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” Huckabee said on Fox News, discussing the murder spree that took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, CT that morning. “Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”

and of course there’s famed author Travis McGee at Free Republic:

My guess is that the next phase is going to come and shockingly fast. Today already we have Obama weeping and choking up, and all flags at half-mast.

Next week will be 20 tiny tot coffins with precious teddy bears on top, and photos and home videos galore. It will be the most heart-wrenching show ever produced by the White House-Hollywood-MSM alliance.

A bill will be proposed. If it’s not this one, it may be worse. But this at least. A total ban on magazines capable of holding more than ten cartridges. (Or, ten may be one over the limit, with ten-rounders banned.)

No buyback, no compensation, no grandfather, no sunset. Instant felon if you’re found with an eleven-round “massacre magazine.” This is how Hollywood/MSM will produce this episode over the next two weeks.

Christmas Eve, with all of the tiny tot funerals. The tears will pour like Niagara.

Only a few weak-kneed RINOs in the House need to roll over, and they will. This bill will pass like lightning, we may be shocked how fast.

I thought it would pass in the year after Gabby Giffords, but I was wrong. Let’s see what happens now.

Posted in gun issues | 12 Comments »

Fast and Furious: now barely even a pseudoscandal

Posted by Charles II on June 28, 2012

I heard about this on Rachel last night, but truthout found the link for me. Katherine Eban, Fortune mag:

Customers can legally buy as many weapons as they want in Arizona as long as they’re 18 or older and pass a criminal background check. There are no waiting periods and no need for permits, and buyers are allowed to resell the guns. “In Arizona,” says [ATF team leader Dave] Voth, “someone buying three guns is like someone buying a sandwich.”

The agents faced numerous obstacles in what they dubbed the Fast and Furious case. …Their greatest difficulty by far, however, was convincing prosecutors that they had sufficient grounds to seize guns and arrest straw purchasers. By June 2010 the agents had sent the U.S. Attorney’s office a list of 31 suspects they wanted to arrest, with 46 pages outlining their illegal acts. But for the next seven months prosecutors did not indict a single suspect.

Ten weeks [after the murder of a Border Patrol agent], an ATF agent named John Dodson…claimed that supervisors repeatedly ordered him not to seize weapons because they wanted to track the guns into the hands of criminal ringleaders.

Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. … But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF … seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.

Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns [i.e., deliberately allowed them to end up in the hands of criminals] is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies.

Bottom line: Arizona’s gun laws and prosecutors who were less than eager to pursue prosecutions allowed guns to get into the hands of violent criminals. The Obama Administration is then blamed. And in true underwear gnome form: GOP Profit!!!!

Sixty Minutes, which hyped Agent Dodson’s adolescent complaints into a pseudoscandal. has become no more than a bad joke, prostituting itself for ratings. The use of “the Sipsey Street Irregulars, run by a former militia member, Mike Vanderboegh, who has advocated armed insurrection against the U.S. government” as a “desert telegraph” to come up with angles to attack the ATF, is a cancer on the American Republic. Thanks, Republicans, for keeping us safe from non-existent threats while Mexico dissolves into chaos.

Posted in gun issues, Republicans as cancer | 1 Comment »

It’s all just a misunderstanding!

Posted by Charles II on May 10, 2012

Nick Wing, HuffPo:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is lending his name and political clout to a gun group’s email campaign that features an image of a rifle pointed at the head of President Barack Obama.

And if Rand Paul weren’t such a lying, flaming idiot the the other 364 days, we’d be sure that it was just a mistake.

Posted in gun issues, Republicans acting badly | 4 Comments »

Maybe if she’d had a gun: Minneapolis denies the right of self-defense against hate crimes/corrected

Posted by Charles II on April 27, 2012


A transgendered African-American woman is set to go on trial next week on charges of second-degree murder for an altercation after she was reportedly physically attacked and called racist and homophobic slurs outside a Minneapolis bar last year. Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald received 11 stitches to her cheek, and was reportedly interrogated without counsel and placed in solitary confinement following her arrest. There were reports that the dead victim, Dean Schmitz, had a swastika tattooed on his chest.

So McDonald’s face was slashed open and then she killed the person who did that.

These are facts similar to those asserted in the Trayvon Martin case, but with some important differences. Compare McDonald to Zimmerman and the deceased Dean Schmitz with the deceased Trayvon Martin:

1) Schmitz did have a deadly weapon, while Trayvon did not have a deadly weapon, while McDonald had been assaulted and seriously wounded.
2) Schmitz pursued her, while Zimmerman alleges that he was assaulted by Trayvon, who Zimmerman was following.
3) Schmitz was allegedly tattoed with a hate symbol, while Trayvon had none.
4) Schmitz allegedly had a history of harassing McDonald, while Trayvon was unknown to Zimmerman.

Now, there’s one more similarity and one more difference. McDonald used a knife, scissors while Zimmerman used a gun. And both of the dead people, one an assailant, one allegedly a victim, were black.

One is reminded of an ancient (50 years ago) Dick Gregory joke: “You complain about us cutting people. Well, hell, you won’t sell us any guns!”

This appears to be a stark illustration of why we need to confront hate crimes and demand an end to the stirring of racial hatred by TV news. Every person, black or white, gay or straight, has an absolute right to mind his or her own business in safety. For Minneapolis to charge someone in fear of her life with second degree murder, while it took a national campaign and intervention by the Governor to get Zimmerman charged with the same crime is clear evidence that the scales of justice are not balanced in this oh-so-free-and-fair country.
Note on the corrections: apparently one of Schmitz’s female companions opened up the wound on McDonald by throwing a glass at her. So Schmitz was not carrying a deadly weapon. Also, Schmitz was apparently stabbed with fabric scissors. Sorry about the mistakes. Like Stormcrow (see comments) I was completely disgusted by this. I got careless in writing it up.

Posted in abuse of power, gay rights, gun issues, race in America, racism | 3 Comments »

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