Showing posts with label Gun Control. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gun Control. Show all posts

Friday, September 16, 2016

Monday, July 04, 2016

Good (Happy Birthday, United States) Words

For me, freedom means the ability to live free of fear, free of intimidation and free from gun violence. Freedom in America, as set out in the Declaration of Independence, is meant to be life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet, there is a vocal minority who believe these fundamental rights are pre-empted by the right to unrestricted access to deadly weapons.

---Jane Doughetry, sister of Sandy Hook victim

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Australia Enjoys Another Peaceful Day Under Oppressive Gun Control Regime

Local cinema attendant, Christina Upton can’t believe it has been a whole 19 years and 7 months since a heavily armed white Australian male decided to shoot at a crowd of unsuspecting Australian civilians for no reason. 

Fantastic piece.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Study on Background Checks

Between January 1, 2009 and July 31, 2015, there were 37 mass shootings in states where background checks were required for all handgun sales and 96 mass shootings in states where they were not. Controlling for population, there were 52 percent fewer mass shootings in states that require background checks for all handgun sales than in states that do not.

The difference was more pronounced among shootings committed by prohibited people. During the period of observation, there were 44 mass shootings committed by assailants known to be prohibited from possessing firearms—10 in states that require background checks for all handgun sales and 34 in states that do not. Controlling for population, there were 63 percent fewer mass shootings committed by people prohibited from possessing firearms in states that require background checks for all handgun sales than in those that do not.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Yes, they are (see: should be) committed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Indeed, David

David Frum's recent piece on guns is simply brilliant. He's right. The president does need a Plan B. What should that be?

First: The president can direct the surgeon general to compile a scientific study of the health effect of individual gun ownership.

The second step that might be taken -- again without the need for any congressional vote -- is for the Senate to convene hearings into the practices of the gun industry analogous to those it convened into the tobacco industry in the 1990s.

Agree and agree.

Actually, we need more than just one scientific study on the health effects of guns. As Frum notes in an earlier piece, there's a whole lot of lying going on. And bad social science. This jibes with a recent article from the Christian Science Monitor that illustrates, despite the convoluted bullshit from the Right, there is very little date to support the assertion that guns make us safer.

As a 2012 Congressional Research Service report on gun issues points out, law enforcement agencies do not collect self-defense information as a matter of course, and the available research thus depends on limited numbers of surveys and other self-reported information.

That's why Frum points out the obvious in his comment regarding Gayle Trotter's testimony before Congress.

Thrilling. Also wholly imaginary. Such Rambo-like defenses of home and hearth do not happen in real life, unless the home also happens to contain a meth lab. (The oft-cited statistic that gun owners draw in self-defense 2.5 million times a year is a classic of bad social science.)

Yes, managing a fantasy. These types of situations are pure fantasy but that certainly won't stop the right wing media industrial complex from brainwashing their all to willing followers whose brains are already hard wired for more fear. So, we need to fucking bury them in scientific studies that show the effects that guns have on public health.

The other important step is to unfuck the gun makers.

Gun makers often design their weapons in ways that present no benefit for lawful users but that greatly assist criminals. They don't coordinate the issuance of serial numbers so that each gun can be identified with certainty. They stamp serial numbers in places where they can be effaced. 

They reject police requests to etch barrels to uniquely mark each cartridge fired by a particular gun. They sell bullets that can pierce police armor. 

They will not include trigger locks and other child-proofing devices as standard equipment. 

They ignore new technology that would render guns inoperable by anyone except their approved purchaser. 

Why? Why? And why?

Seriously, WTF, gun manufacturers? I had no idea that any of this was happening.

Frum's piece draws an important comparison with the cigarette industry and I think we may be seeing the nascence of a very effective way to deal with gun violence in this country. If we do to the gun manufacturers what we did the tobacco lobby, we're going to reduce the gun violence in this country. If we combine that with dealing with mental health more effectively, it's going to make for an even further reduction in gun related deaths.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


One of my great joys on Sunday is to crack open the paper and have a nice, long and leisurely read. Today, though, there was nothing pleasant about this headline.

Appeals of denied permits get guns into questionable hands

Senior Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Toni Beitz said the reason for some reversals is that the carry-permit law puts a high burden on a sheriff to prove that someone shouldn't be issued a permit. Under the carry-permit statute, for example, criminal allegations that are not investigated and documented aren't grounds for denial. "The statute is very limited as to what evidence the sheriff can look at. He's got a very short period of time, and there's only a very narrow room for him to use discretion," Beitz said. "That was the big shift when it used to be in the hands of chiefs of police. They had a lot of discretion to look at maybe whatever they wanted to look at."

Interesting. So, the gun lobby, who was spent the last couple of years screaming at the top of their lungs about gun walking, is now essentially doing the same thing. In their fervent zeal over their warped interpretation of the second amendment, 299 people who have a criminal history get to have guns in my home state.

Perhaps they should heed their own warnings about laws and unintended consequences.

Friday, February 15, 2013

They Deserve A Vote

On Monday night, 34 year old Nhan Tran stood at a busy intersection in Oakdale, a suburb of St. Paul, and started shooting. 9 year old Devin Aryal was shot several times and killed in the back of his mother's minivan. Now, Melissa Aryal becomes yet another parent in a collection of far too many who have lost a child to gun violence. And the response from the Right?

Fuck you. Don't take away my gun, Hitler.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama said the following.

It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned. 

Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun. 

One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house. 

Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote. 

Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. 

The families of Newtown deserve a vote. 

The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote. 

Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government. 

We were sent here to look out for our fellow Americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country. We should follow their example.

Indeed, we should. So why hasn't their been a vote?

In listening to the chest thumping bravado and imperial declarations of the gun rights folks, one would think that all changes to existing gun laws will fail. Fine. Prove it. Put your vote where your mouth is, ass hats. The Republicans in the House should put together a bill and vote on it. Harry Reid should do the same thing in the Senate. In short, get it fucking done.

Let the American people see where their leaders stand on the issue of gun violence. I want to see who is going to vote no and stand with the old gun laws that are clearly not effective anymore. You can add Melissa Aryal to the list of people who deserve a simple vote. You can rest assured that there will be more added to the list each and every day that passes until there is a vote.

The time is now.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Not Fake

62-Year-Old With Gun Only One Standing Between Nation And Full-Scale Government Takeover

Bailey, who keeps his gun on his person at all times and regularly patrols his property in his truck, has reportedly struck dread into the very highest-ranking members of the U.S. government. According to sources, top government and military officials are fully aware that they remain unable to commence with their oppressive, systematic subjugation of the American populace as long as the 62-year-old owner of a rifle exists. 

I guess The Onion stopped running fake news stories...

Friday, February 08, 2013

There Was Nothing Free About Them

If only people were allowed to carry their guns wherever they felt like it, spree shootings would never happen, gun free zone detractors whine in typical adolescent fashion. It continually amazes me that the core of their argument about this and many other issues revolves around the same basic emotion: I wanna do what I wanna do when I wanna do it and if I don't get my way, bad things will happen. See?!! Told ya!! Fuck you, dad!! (stomp stomp stomp...SLAM!)

Setting aside this perpetual, childish outburst, the assertion that spree shootings are more lethal because they are in gun free zones is patently false. The idea that we can somehow get into the mind of these people and (ahem) reason that they pick these places so they can have the largest body count is one of the finest examples of projection and confirmation bias I have ever witnessed. You would think that they were presenting a conclusion to an argument without having any facts to support it. That couldn't possibly be true!

When Cookie Thornton shot up Kirkwood City Hall, he began his spree by shooting a police officer, taking his gun, and then heading inside to continue his path of destruction. The fact that there were guns in the building had no effect on Thornton's mindset. He went in anyway. Thornton, by the way, was yet another individual with a pathological hatred for government. Jared Loughner walked in to a parking lot that was not a gun free zone and had no compunction about shooting up the joint. People were allowed to carry arms around that area and that certainly didn't stop him. Chris Kyle was a Navy SEAL and heavily armed and trained, when he was shot, along with his friend Chad Littlefield, at a gun range (see: not gun free) by Eddie Ray Routh.

And armed security was present at Columbine when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on their rampage, killing 12 people.

So, this notion that getting rid of gun free zones will somehow be a panacea is ludicrous. The above are just a few examples. Whether guns are present or not present has no bearing on whether or not people go on shooting sprees. It's simply another in a nauseating series of proclamations by children who are trying to get their own way. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Relief is Spelled C-O-U-L-T-E-R

Universal background check means universal registration. Universal registration means universal confiscation, universal extermination. That’s how it goes in history.

Well, shit. I was a little concerned that we wouldn't get anywhere on refining our gun laws but now I know for certain that we will. Hell, we might even get an assault weapons ban if we see more stuff like this!

I'm beginning to see a pattern that has developed over the last four years...the Right says something loony tunes, America reacts with revulsion and....good things happen:)

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Now, Maybe?


So, can we perhaps now refine our nation's gun laws so that mentally ill people (especially those with PTSD) don't have access to guns?

Friday, February 01, 2013

Trotter Testimony

Here's some video to go along with Nikto's post below. I love how she uses all too familiar framing techniques and Newspeak to redirect from completely disproving her own point.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Here's another example of why the gun laws in this country need to be refined. So what if he's an old man. This is a classic case of someone who should not own a gun.

Part of me thinks, though, that this is what the gun folks want. That way they can point to the violence and say, "See? People need to defend themselves against this sort of thing." The more shootings, the merrier, eh? Maybe they think that Abad should have had a gun and then he could have shot back.

Oh, no, wait, that wouldn't do. He was Latino.

Ah, That Explains It

With the standoff down in rural Alabama entering its second day, we now know a little more about the suspect who shot a school bus driver and took a kid hostage. His name is Jimmie Lee Dykes, age 65.

Neighbors describe Dykes as being "anti-government" and said he was "a long time concern" in the community, reported. Court records show he was due in court Wednesday morning to face menacing charges, according to the station. 

Gee, I'm shocked. I wonder if he was a regular reader of Kevin Baker's site. Of course, this is a great example of the study that I put up from the other day as to the danger that this type of person, whether acting alone or with others, presents to the public. Where are the left wing radicals that shoot bus drivers and take kids hostages?

And this is yet another example of why the current system we have regarding guns needs to be refined.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Working Out Just Fine

Let's see...

Grades too low, so St. Paul dad pulls AK-47, charges say

Authorities: NM teen accused of killing family put rifles in van, planned Wal-Mart shootout

Gunman in Ala. bus shooting holds boy hostage in bunker

And breaking just a few hours ago...

3 shot at Phoenix office building

And these are just highlights of the last week.

Yes, I see it now. Our gun laws are sufficient and seem to be working out just fine. In fact, we need less regulation and more guns in light of these events. That'll solve the problem, George Orwell.

What was I thinking?

The Clock is Ticking

On Monday, the president met with law enforcement officials from the five communities where there have been mass shootings. One of those communities was mine where seven people died in a workplace shooting at Accent Signage, in Minneapolis, last September.

The man seated to the right of the president in this photo  is Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. Sheriff Stanek was elected sheriff in 2006 and again in 2010. I voted for him both times as he is a fantastic example of a leader who recognizes that thinking outside of the box is vital in pursuing solutions to the very serious problems our communities face today.

Oh, and Rich Stanek is a Republican.

Sheriff Stanek's point to the president was this. "Gun control alone will not solve the complex problem of guns and extreme violence. We have an access problem. Individuals with severe mental illness should never have access to guns.

This is from his piece in the Star and Tribune a two weeks ago.

Federal law already prohibits high-risk individuals from buying guns -- persons determined by a court to be "mentally ill and dangerous," felons, drug addicts, fugitives, illegal aliens, dishonorably discharged soldiers, those who have renounced U.S. citizenship, and domestic abusers all are disqualified from gun ownership. 

The National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS) assists law enforcement in identifying the disqualified. Trouble is, the system is woefully underdeveloped. A majority of relevant records have never been included in NICS; millions of names are missing from the federal database.

Since then, Congress passed the NICS Improvement Amendments Act to improve development and management of the NICS Index. But state participation still is voluntary, and only 12 states actively have engaged in an effort to submit mental-illness records.

Step One: Make state participation mandatory. This would have broad bipartisan support and have an immediate impact on gun violence. But how much of an impact and is it enough?

But even if we updated the NICS Index with every relevant record (and we should make every effort to do so), it still would not be enough. For a mentally ill person to become disqualified for gun ownership, there must first have been an act of violence, or an arrest leading to the extreme measure of a court hearing and decision. In my view, this is far too late to provide meaningful care and treatment to those in need. 

Multiple studies show a strong link between untreated mental illness and an increased risk of committing violent acts (when properly treated, even the severely mentally ill pose no greater threat than do those in the general population). The parents of Andrew Engeldinger, the suspected killer at Accent Signage in Minneapolis last summer, said they tried to push their son to seek treatment for paranoia and delusions, but he was an adult and refused help.

This is the crux of the problem. If someone is an adult, we can't force them to seek care. As Stanek goes on to explain, we have an epidemic of mental illness in this country that has reached biblical proportions. Other countries have plenty of guns but they don't go around shooting each other at the rates that we do. Why?

It's not enough to say, "Well, it's our culture." Other countries have access to the same films and video games that we do. It's more than that and once you get into the details, the central cause that emerges is mental health.

We need a real strategy to address this unmet need for forensic psychiatric care and to prevent those with untreated mental illness from committing acts of violence. This must become a public-safety priority as well as a public-health priority.

More than anything, we must encourage individuals facing mental-health issues to seek treatment. We must "make it OK" for our family, friends and colleagues to seek treatment.

Exactly. And this would be why I will support Rich Stanek as long as he continues to run for office. We need more Rich Staneks around the country to embrace this mentality.