I spend a good part of my workday hunting for stories to bring to you. If a headline piques my interest, I link over and start reading. If two similar headlines pique my interest, my newsflash periscope pops up. If three or four similar headlines about a topic I regularly cover show up, I drop everything and start writing. This is one of those times. Check out these headlines that are currently running at TPM Livewire:
A group of open carry gun activists who protested Saturday at Dealey Plaza in Dallas filmed a bizarre, more-than-10-minute video of their demonstration and posted it to YouTube.
For the second time in less than a week, police arrested a man on Wednesday for allegedly attempting to bring a pistol into a building at the U.S. Capitol, according to Roll Call.
The Riverside County, Calif. sheriff's department found a body believed to be the suspect in multiple shootings in California...
Police were searching for at least one suspect who was wearing body armor and carrying a semi-automatic rifle after a Riverside County, Calif. sheriff's deputy was shot on Tuesday afternoon.
And it's only 11:30 a.m. here in California. I don't know about you, but I've already O.D.'d on disturbing gun headlines.
While were (rightfully) focused on the Israel-Hamas war and the brutal downing of a Malaysian jetliner by Russian separatists, there is a whole lot of excruciatingly persistent violence going on right here at home. Plus a whole lot of sickos who are apparently convinced that their deadly weapons will compensate for their rather humbling "shortcomings".
Everywhere you look these days, people are substituting communication, patience, and reason with hostility and savage bloodshed. And what does America get when we ask for a way out, for remedies, for peace? Competing headlines featuring GOP Second Amendment Solution warmongers who are fixated on blaming President Obama and his alleged feck in an effort to appeal to their equally extreme voters.
You know what I say to all this anger and to politicians who perpetuate it? Feck you.
Dear Hallmark: Universal background checks for gun sales could have prevented mass killings. Massacres can also be cut short when a shooter runs out of bullets and has to reload. That's why there's a call for a ban on large capacity magazines in favor of those that hold fewer bullets. Of course, for some unfathomable reason, there is resistance to forcing shooters to stop and reload more often. However, most Americans do agree on mandatory background checks. They can weed out potential gun owners who have a history of violence and mental instability, criminal pasts, or a history of domestic violence. People with obviously severe problems like those should not be able to acquire a gun.
You would think "pro-lifers" would be in favor of saving lives, now wouldn't you? You'd think anyone would. Background checks would be the simplest way to achieve that. In fact, 90% of the American public favors them.
"But, incredibly, Hallmark does not support Universal Background Checks-- or any background checks-- for gun sales. That is why a complete Hallmark boycott is being called for by the National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) and the Newtown Victims and Clergy for Corporate Responsibility (NVCCR)," said Elliot Fineman, CEO of (NGVAC). [...]
"Until Hallmark gets off the sideline and supports Universal Background Checks (which NGVAC studies show will minimally save 2,000 lives per year) and commits to work for their passage our boycott will continue," said Fineman.
If protecting the Stay family and America's families is not reason enough for Hallmark to act, then it is reason enough for the over 90% of Americans that want Universal Background Checks to not buy any Hallmark products or to support any of the Hallmark Channel sponsors.
Here's what Hallmark's Chairman Donald Hall, Jr. said in response: "We do not get involved in divisive issues."
Psst! Mr. Hall, Jr... mowing down groups of people, murdering children, slaughtering teachers and theater-goers, destroying families, that's pretty divisive, don'tcha think? Death divides family members. Preventing death, maiming, and more devastation should be our goal.
Sadly, death also bring people together, but for the wrong reason. Just ask America, post-Sandy Hook:
More at the link.
America the Beautiful (Parody) is sung by Jaclyn Glenn.
From the YouTube page for this video:
JaclynGlenn20 hours ago
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.
The idiots who scream "USA#1!" are unpatriotic. If this video offends you think about why. You can't fix problems by ignoring them.
The lyrics of this sone - from YouTube:
How beautiful, for christian guys
With everything to gain
The white oppressed majorities
Still feel like they're in painnnn
Our god is forced on theee
You're only good through christianhood
Our churches are tax freeeeee
O beautiful religious lies,
bronze age mythology,
Fuck women's rights, a bunch of guys,
don't get biology
God made thine every flaw,
Refusing women birth-control,
Our views forced via law
America is number one... in teen pregnancy!
Our healthcare sucks, we give no fucks
but still think that we're free
My guns will keep me safe
until that is, I shoot myself....
In one of the following letters, the author refers to "gun advocates." I prefer the terms gun fondlers, gun zealots, and gun fetishists, but what do I know, right? She makes a great point, as do the others in today's Los Angles Times letters to the editor.
Take a look at these and at the video below, because our voices matter:
Near the end of your article on the Las Vegas shootings, you mention Joseph Robert Wilcox, who pulled out a concealed weapon and confronted Jerad Miller at the Wal-Mart.
As I read this part of the article, I wondered what gun advocates who promote the fallacy that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun would say about that. Wilcox may have believed this idea and might have wanted to be a hero, but now he is dead after having been shot by a bad guy.
Gun advocates think they know how any scenario involving guns will play out. They don't.
Unfortunately, this part of the story will not even be part of the conversation. It is to our country's detriment that it won't be.
Nancy Zaman, Los Angeles
The politicians' angry cries against the release of five Guantanamo Bay detainees are loud. What of the American terrorists who routinely slaughter children, police officers and innocent civilians?
Those politicians refuse to defy their sponsor, the National Rifle Assn., and show little care for American lives.
Ruth Palanker, Los Angeles
Isn't it about time that we just stand up to the defenders of an amendment written more than 200 years ago and say it just doesn't apply anymore? Isn't it time for the cowards in Washington to quit protecting the NRA and start protecting the rest of us?
It's time we closed the gun shops and the gun shows and started restricting and shutting down the manufacturers of these weapons.
And yes, it is a mental health issue. It's about the absolute insanity of the people who think that owning a gun somehow makes you more of an American.
Collect the guns and get these nuts off the street before more of our children die.
Lee Cohen, Glendale
Now take a look at our own Cliff Schecter making the case against violence on The Last Word. As always, he knocked it out of the park:
While I was on air with Nicole Sandler today, this terrible news broke: Student killed, shooter also dead, at Oregon high school. Shortly after that, I received a press release from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, in part (emphasis mine):
"We hear our representatives calling for prayers, but today, we call on responsible gun owners, mothers, fathers, and all concerned citizens to call on our elected officials to pass reasonable reforms that will prevent gun violence. Will we have to wait until there is an active shooter at every school in America before our lawmakers act?" said Sarah Finger McDonald, Oregon Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "Today’s shooting was the 74th since Newtown. Our children and teachers should be learning and teaching in schools—not on lock down, cowering under desks, and evacuated from school with their hands raised in the air.”
Here at TPC, we can barely keep up with the epidemic of NRA-sponsored carnage, but we've tried:
These stories make a few things very clear. For example, in one case, no gun was needed to tackle a shooter and disarm him. In another case, a "good guy with a gun" was killed by "a bad guy with a gun." So much for that right wing gun-fondler talking point.
Referring to Second Amendmenters as "good guys," framing it in such unrealistic, black-and-white terms, is misleading at best. This isn't a 1950s Roy Rogers movie, it's real life. And right now, reality sucks.
Our own Cliff Schecter was on the Ronan Farrow show today recapping the series of horrific events. He spoke with his usual brilliantly blunt eloquence:
Cliff was asked on because of the latest "student killed" headline. And because that "student killed" headline has become so damned commonplace. What has this country become? As Cliff said, it's not the same place in which he grew up. Ditto.
And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
With more states allowing citizens to openly carry weapons into stores, libraries and churches; with the National Rifle Assn. convincing others that the best antidote to gun violence is more guns; and with people entertaining themselves watching movies and TV shows full of gratuitous violence, do we really need to ask, "What precipitated this event?"
Just look in the mirror.
Dateline, Mission Viejo: A son kills his father, mother, sister and himself with a gun.
Dateline, Atlanta: A gunman trying to charge into a courthouse with an assault rifle and grenades is subdued after a gun battle with police.
Dateline, Seattle: A gunman kills one person before being subdued.
Dateline, Las Vegas: Two police officers are assassinated by two shooters who also kill a shopper and themselves.
Another week in the United States of the NRA, where that phrase "not one more" is just another bumper sticker.
So, folks, enjoy your next trip to the mall or sending your kids off to school. What could possibly go wrong?
Two armed individuals walk into a restaurant carrying loaded weapons because they are exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.
Two armed individuals walk into a restaurant and kill two police officers.
Question: How does anyone know which two individuals just walked in until they start firing?
And to drive home a few very serious points, here is a tongue-in-cheek video courtesy of CollegeHumor's Favorite Funny Videos:
H/t: The wonderful Gaius Publius of AMERICAblog
Ponder this particular panel on Friday night's Real Time with the inimitable Bill Maher ...
Nicole Wallace, Bush The Dumber shill and (terrifyingly regular) bleating head on Schmoe Scarborough's morning roundtable of idiocy. A mediocre conservative National Review 'comic' whose name happily escaped. Baltimore's genius John Waters as the pop creative guest -- and Anthony
Dicque Picque Weiner. In full NYC fighting mode.
We might just have to start loving us some Weiner again if he keeps decimating fools like Wallace.
The opening segment guest set the tone, it was a liberal wet dream. Holy Roller and Defender of Straight Families, Ralph Reed, actually had the stones to take on America's Best Atheist. I suspect Reed limped off stage afterwards for scrotum ice and a shot of moonshine before sprinting back to LAX.
When Reed tried to assign Christian religion value, boldly Bogarting “over half of the social capital” in the world.
Maher drawled, “Ralph, I could list so many things that are bad that religion has been responsible for: most wars, the Crusades, burning witches at the stake, 9/11–I could go on.”
Reed did the obligatory Chrrrrristian Charity Fallback Position, “Homeless shelters–90% of which are connected with a house of worship, many charities … " [yada yada yada] Maher then dropped the coup de grace: “Of course, but you can do those things without believing in magic. And people do.”
Enjoy for yourself.
On the Infamous Five Bearded Men that hypocrisy dispenser John McCain now fears more than Sarah Palin's mouth, Maher was in rare form.
On Open Carry, Maher quotably opined that the deadly Strap On penis-enhancers should stay out of stores and restaurants ... after all, he doesn't go around randomly blowing bong hits at innocent diners at the Olive Garden. [Though Nicole Wallace was clearly in deep need.]
He skewered the GunNuttery as only Maher can. Bravo to Bill Maher for taking them on, how are we supposed to know that a guy with a military-style strap-on at Target isn't there to spray bullets in the Garden and Patio section?!
“You guys aren’t just firearm enthusiasts, you’re ammosexuals. And before you try and deny that you have some sort of unnatural romantic relationship with your gun, consider this: You’re taking it out to dinner. Because it completes you. Get a room.”
Maher Rules. Praise Jeebus he plays for our team.
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Lt. Col Barry Wingard is the lawyer for Gitmo detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari. For their ongoing story + related topics, please click on the link below:
Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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