Archive for assault weapons

UPDATE: Cop Kills Innocent Kid -- And He's The Training Officer

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Andy lopez 2

Last weekend I posted a story about a tragic shooting of a 13 year old boy who was carrying a toy rifle that looked like a real weapon. It was called Was This Stop And Frisk Or Stop And Shoot.

My problem was in the official timing of the event. After hanging up with dispatch telling them they were going to investigate a possible armed male, a mere ten seconds later the cops called back in. In that short time two cops got out of their vehicle, called out for the 13 year old who had his back to them to drop the weapon, the boy supposedly didn't respond immediately and they called out to him again, then he turned, one of them shot the boy 8 times and they checked on the fallen lad and then got back to dispatch -- ALL IN TEN SECONDS.

Well, this story takes on a bit more curiosity. According to Reuters 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old California boy carrying what turned out to be a plastic replica assault rifle is a firearms expert who has trained officers for nearly two decades, authorities said on Monday.

Deputy Erick Gelhaus, 48, fired eight shots at Andy Lopez Cruz on Tuesday, as the popular eighth-grader was walking near his home in the wine-country suburb of Santa Rosa carrying an imitation AK-47 he planned to return to a friend, relatives and officials said.

Moment of perspective here: of the two cops involved in the shooting, one was a rookie, the other a seasoned vet who not only had years of experience, but he's the one responsible for teaching other cops, like the rookie, how to use reasonable force. One cop, the training officer fired 8 times, hitting the child 7. The other officer didn't fire a single shot. Did someone here have an itchy trigger finger? If I lived in Santa Rosa California, I wouldn't want that kind of shoot first, ask questions later rogue out on the streets, let alone teaching other officers how to handle a situation.

And how could all of this happen within 10 seconds? Did they fake this shooting? Had they already killed the child and then tried to cover it up. Just think about how short a time this is to do everything that supposedly went down. Does this raise your eyebrows too?

Both cops are on administrative leave, but maybe psychological medical discharge for the senior officer might be more appropriate. You shouldn't get second chances on the street armed with deadly weapons when you kill innocent kids.

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Tough noogies, gun fondlers

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tough noogies

Think Progress brings more good news from my home state. A California appeals court upheld our law banning possession of a semi-automatic assault rifle. According to them, the state law is constitutional.

As in, legal. As in, per the United States Constitution. As in, the Second Amendment has its limits. As in, tough noogies, NRA and extremist gun fondlers everywhere.

Think Progress:

[T]he Supreme Court’s seminal Second Amendment opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller held that the right to bear arms is “‘not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose,’ but is instead the right to possess and carry weapons typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes such as hunting or self-defense.” Ownership of “[d]angerous and unusual weapons” is not protected by the Constitution.

Ownership of “[d]angerous and unusual weapons” is not protected by the Constitution.

There's even more at the link.

So if the gun zealots really believe in the Constitution as they say they do, they might want to finally enthusiastically abide by the, you know, law.

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Graphic of the Day- Why It's Easier To Buy An Assault Weapon Than To Vote

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NOTE: Oops! GottaLaff posted the same thing here along with Clinton's remarks: Infographic: “A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.” Ours does.

Thanks to the brains at TP for this mind boggling graphic. I can't think of how we could screw up our priorities more.

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Infographic: "A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.” Ours does.

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bill clinton mlk march voting rights

President Clinton gave a terrific speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington which included this memorable sentence:

"A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.”

Ours does.

To give the point even more oomph, Think Progress posted this handy at-a-glance visual reminder of how wrongheaded the Republican party is in their efforts to slash voting rights while making it a snap to own a deadly weapon:

voting rights v gun rights

See? That way unregulated sales of firearms can continue without those pesky voters trying to step in to make some common sense changes. No I.D., no vote. No vote, no voice. No voice, no change.

Now if states would make official identification cards free and easily accessible, that would be swell. But the GOP would prefer that doesn't happen, because those without I.D.s tend to vote Democratic.

Thankfully, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the Texas voter ID law, and says that's just the first step of many.

Now back to Clinton's remarks. Think Progress:

As it turns out, Clinton is correct: individuals can buy assault weapons without showing identification in more than 30 states, while federal law prohibits states from allowing individuals to vote without some form of identification. In recent years, 13 states have passed stricter voter ID requirements and half a dozen more are considering voter suppression measures in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling invalidating a key section of the Voting Rights Act.

In fact, a ThinkProgress analysis found that anyone can obtain assault rifles from unlicensed dealers at gun shows or online without a background check in 39 states. Zero states allow people to vote without displaying identification.

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Enticing customers to mix guns and booze isn't paying off: LivingSocial is "in hot water."

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guns and drinking deadly combo

The Gun Truth Project partners with the LivingSocial/DyingSocial campaign. The report that details LivingSocial's deals, with examples, is here.

And I posted about it here: #DyingSocial: LivingSocial must stop mixing assault weapons and alcohol:

CREDO has a press release I’d like to share with you. Bolding is mine:

The online deal site LivingSocial is promoting gun deals, including offers involving assault weapons, by urging their customers to visit shooting ranges and drink alcohol – all in one go. CREDO today launched a campaign urging LivingSocial to drop all deals on guns. [...]

86 percent of gun murders are committed by people who were drinking before they opened fire.

CREDO is recommending that:

LivingSocial should stop helping the gun industry by offering deals on guns or at gun ranges, or any other kind of shooting event.

LivingSocial should never offer packages that combine drinking with shooting or any other dangerous activity.

Wait. What's that I hear? I believe it's the sound of being put in one's place.

Offering consumers the opportunity to mix guns and alcohol has now "landed LivingSocial Inc. in hot water" with a group that approved a big tax break for them.

Via the Wall Street Journal:

In one example of a LivingSocial deal combining guns and alcohol, consumers were invited last year to purchase a $130 adventure kit including a trip to a shooting range in Michigan from downtown Chicago, followed by eight tastings of wine, beer or liquor at a nearby winery.

Great idea. Brilliant. Genius! Intentionally combining drinking booze with gun use always ends so well.

So a DC councilman sent a letter asking for a halt on deals combining shooting range excursions and alcohol:

LivingSocial spokeswoman Sara Parker said the company never received a letter from Councilman Mendelson requesting it to stop running deals involving both gun ranges and alcohol. What’s more, she said LivingSocial hasn’t run any such promotions in more than year. [...]

If the company has decided to stop running combined shooting and alcohol deals, it would be “great,” he said, but “it’s a little too cute to say they discontinued this over a year ago. When I sent the letter in the middle of July it was after I was approached by the advocacy group that brought this to our attention. They showed me ads that weren’t a year old.”

Oops.

LivingSocial reported operating losses totaling $1.3 billion over the past two years.

The title of the WSJ piece says it all: "Guns and Booze Become a Daily Deal Headache For LivingSocial."

nonono

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#DyingSocial: LivingSocial must stop mixing assault weapons and alcohol

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guns and drinking deadly combo

CREDO has a press release I'd like to share with you. Bolding is mine:

The online deal site LivingSocial is promoting gun deals, including offers involving assault weapons, by urging their customers to visit shooting ranges and drink alcohol – all in one go. CREDO today launched a campaign urging LivingSocial to drop all deals on guns.
 
CREDO released a new report in partnership with The Gun Truth Project, and supported by MomsRising, “Dying Social: Deals To Die For,” which details LivingSocial’s promotions for events combining alcohol and guns, and examines incidences where that combination has led to deadly outcomes.
 
The report is available at http://act.credoaction.com/go/dyingsocial  

"In the wake of Newtown, I'd like to know how the people who own or work for Living Social can justify profiting from the packaging of AK47 shooting sprees with an evening of bourbon shots," said Becky Bond, CREDO's Political Director. "Living Social is offering deals that would make even the NRA blush -- not to mention endangering the public health by suggesting pairing assault weapons with alcohol binges is just good clean fun."

LivingSocial has refused to implement a policy ceasing gun-related events, even in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. That position is in stark contrast to its competitor Groupon, which discontinued them in January. Several other online marketplaces, including Amazon.com (a LivingSocial investor), Craigslist and eBay, prohibit trade in firearms and related accessories like ammunition and scopes.

The report details the irresponsibility with which Living Social has promoted its gun-related events, including one deal touting “a day of popping caps and sipping on taps.” It also runs through the dangers of mixing alcohol and guns, including the fact that 86 percent of gun murders are committed by people who were drinking before they opened fire.

CREDO is recommending that:

LivingSocial should stop helping the gun industry by offering deals on guns or at gun ranges, or any other kind of shooting event.

LivingSocial should never offer packages that combine drinking with shooting or any other dangerous activity.

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What I will not write about today

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frustrated9

Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

See if you sense a theme (I couldn't even bring myself to add commentary this time):

 

See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

not drunk honest

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