Archive for gun safety

Cliff Notes: "Gun insanity, my friends, this is where Florida really and truly excels."


gun insanity defend myself cartoon

My dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter, has a new post up; Cliff has given me permission to share his work with you, so I’ll give you the latest edition of what I call Cliff Notes.

He skewers better than a chef at Smokey Joe’s BBQ. He has comedic insights that rival those of our mutual friend, the hilarious Lizz Winstead. He’s sharper than the point on Sarah Palin’s pin head.

Here are a few excerpts from his latest, with permission. Please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here. It's about Florida and its Zombie Apocalypse gun insanity bill. 'Nuff said.

Here are bits and pieces that don't do it justice. Please, link over for the entire post:

Florida is what you might call a special place. There’s a reason why when you type “Why is Florida…” into the Google Machine, among the first options that pop up are “crazy” and “so crazy.”[...]

But gun insanity, my friends, this is where Florida really and truly excels. Whether it’s their pioneering effort in passing racist Stand Your Ground laws (Thanks to former Gov. Jeb Bush—The Smart One!—and pint-sized troll-cum-gun lobbyist Marion Hammer) or applying them to non-whites possessing the audacity to get their groove on while gassing or munching too loud on rainbow candy treats.

Their can-do spirit comes in the form of the disgruntled marching into a school-board meeting in Panama City and firing on the assembled members in an attempt to get his wife’s job back. Shooting a man for texting his babysitter from a movie theater. And returning a Glock pistol and assault rifle to a gentleman named Wayne Rogers, after he shot his “drinking buddy.” And killed him. Did I mention Rogers is blind?

For these reasons and many other infamous ones, you could call Florida the Grand Ole Opry of gun nuttery. [...]

Presently, the gun monster’s reared its ugly head in the form of an NRA-backed bill in the statehouse—HB 209—that seeks to allow anyone lacking a concealed carry permit to go ahead and ignore that whole permit thing during “riots” and other emergencies.... And just what constitutes an emergency that would put this law into effect? Nobody knows, least of all the sponsor of the bill , State Rep. Heather Fitzhagen (R-Fort Myers). [...]

The result is that those with actual experience dealing with criminals, such as Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, respond like this: “To allow people to go into a riot while concealing a gun without a permit is the definition of insanity… The bill is crazy. It’s absurd.”[...]

[A]s we understood for most of our history in this country and Texas’ governor explained in 1893, the “mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.”

Please read the entire post at The Daily Beast, here.


Lawmaker Leaves Loaded Gun in Colorado State Capitol

Loaded Gun Left in State Legislature

Photo via:

I bought a used car in California years ago from a man who told me that when he bought it, he found a loaded gun under the front seat. The previous owner could no longer be found.

That's how casually guns are handled in the US. Here in Mississippi where I live, a concealed carrier (a 'CCW'-er) ignored a 'no guns' sign and discharged his gun in church last year, wounding a fellow worshipper. How? I have no idea - I have a hard time imagining that anyone could be that stupid. (Story here if you're interested.)

Toddlers kill other toddlers (using a parent's gun) and legislators nearly kill other legislators in Colorado or at least leave loaded handguns (aka 'kill-em-easy-{deleted]-substitutes) lying around waiting to be fired.

The irony here is that the lawmaker in question, Rep. Jared Wright, (Republican of course), left his loaded weapon in a committee room where a debate on handgun permits had taken place.

Here's the story on Taegan Godard's The Political Wire

Feeling safe about concealed-carry promoters now?


Senator Bernie Herpin - A Real Rocky Mountain Low



Did you ever find yourself saying something stupid and it was too late? It had already slipped out. You then look for a way to talk your way out of it before others realize how nuts your remark was? I know I have countless times. That's the beauty of the do-over. If you're given the chance down the road to correct it, you take it.

Not so much with Colorado Republican State Senator Bernie Herpin. He made a statement that was as outrageous as a Ph D after Sarah Palin's name. And when called upon to think it over and see if he hadn't misspoken, the senator tried to justify his stand, digging the hole he stood in deeper and deeper.

Here you go. Watch how Sen. Herpin goes from outrageous  to total moron, right in front of your eyes:

Now giving the Senator the benefit of the doubt -- his ignorance, not his intelligence -- I am once again amazed at how little intellect it takes to get elected to office.

So according to the Senator, the fact that the Aurora shooter's gun jammed after 70+ bullets is somehow a good thing. I'd have thought it was a good thing if he never had a gun in the first place. But allowing for the Second Amendment arguments, perhaps if he had to stop and reload 6 or 7 times with a 10 bullet magazine there would have been enough time for some of the victims, wounded or dead, to have reached some sort of safety.

When you put your faith in something going wrong, the gun jamming, instead of something working right, limited bullet clips, then you're as looney as the Tunes.

The lesson here is that we all need to vet our candidates much better than we have. Look at Congress with a 9% approval rating. Yet how many of you are willing to vote out those phonies who you see are not doing your bidding?

Colorado, here's hoping you don't return the madman to your assembly. And boot out his supporters as well. This man is dangerous to you and your health. Perhaps if he had a loved one in the theater that day, he'd have a different story.

Let's cut down on wackadoos like Senator Herpin. Some bozo's will slip through the cracks, but lets start asking the candidates real questions and demand real answers in return -- not just their talking points.


Another school shooting, another study on gun access and risk of homicide, suicide


shooting guns CT

An all too familiar news flash showed up in my inbox today: One dead, one arrested in shooting at Purdue University:

A lone gunman walked into a basement classroom at Purdue University Tuesday, shot and killed one person then calmly walked outside and turned himself in, police said.

And David just posted Police Chief Shoots Himself And Blames His Fleece Jacket.

When I opened my morning Los Angeles Times this morning, I saw this headline: Study takes new look at gun access and risk of homicide, suicide:

People who have ready access to a firearm are almost twice as likely to be killed and three times likelier to commit suicide than those without a gun available in the home or from a neighbor or friend, a new study has concluded. [...]

The United States is thought to have the highest rate of gun ownership of any country, with close to 4 in 10 households owning a firearm. The nation's gun-related homicide rate is higher than that of any other high-income country, and its rate of suicides carried out with a gun exceeds that of any other country that maintains such data. [...]

...Congress passed a law prohibiting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from spending federal funds on research that could be interpreted as promoting or advocating for gun control measures.

We are becoming way too accustomed to news bulletins about school shootings, mass shootings, workplace shootings, "accidental" (negligent) shootings, you name it. And we have seen study after study like the one above that tells us what an unnecessarily violent country we are.

What will it take for this country to wake up? What will it take for gun-toting gun zealots to see the need for common sense legislation that could save lives? WTF is so hard about that?


Police Chief Shoots Himself And Blames His Fleece Jacket



"One Adam-12, One Adam-12, officer down. Suspect described as a fleece jacket. It's armed, dangerous and warm."


A Connersville, Ind. police chief accidentally shot himself in the leg while doing some shopping at a gun store on Saturday, the Indianapolis Star reported.

“I need to pay more attention,” David Counceller said. “I know what the dangers are. It was pure carelessness on my part.”

Now this isn't just some rookie. This is the police chief in Connersville. And here's what I find interesting -- he blames his fleece jacket for the accident. Not his own personal responsibilities of taking all precautions while carrying a loaded weapon in a store. Oh, I amend that to read, a gun shop.

Evidently this "accident" happened while he doing what guys refer to as "dick measuring", pulling out his "weapon" to see how it compared in size to another.

Counceller, who was off-duty at the time, was comparing his 40-caliber Glock handgun with a newer model at Wullf’s Gun Shop. The trouble began when he began to holster his weapon.

“It got tangled in my clothing,” he added, as quoted by the Star. “I was wearing a sweatshirt and a fleece jacket. I felt (the gun) go in the holster and I pushed it, but it was tangled in the material which caused it to discharge. The bullet went into my leg and then into the floor.”

“It was just a little accident. Dave is an excellent marksman [evidently],” Urban [Connersville Mayor] said Monday. “Apparently the Glocks don’t have the trigger safety that they should have.”

Okay, but here's the topper to this bizarre-o story--

The gunshot wound Saturday is not Councellor’s first. Fifteen years ago, Counceller said he accidentally shot himself in his hand.

Was he wearing fleece gloves at that time? It might be a revenge shooting.

So I guess there's multiple lessons to be found in this story. Don't "whip it out" in public. Keep your finger off the safety when holstering your gun. If you shoot yourself once, learn from it. Or just don't wear fleece while packing your Glock. This time the Glock struck one, next time perhaps the Glock will strike two.

Take your pick. But most of all, remember this -- you don't need to be packing when you're going into a gun store. They already have the weapons. You  just need cash and an ID -- and maybe not even that. You just need to show you're responsible enough and know how to handle a gun safely. Being a police chief evidently isn't enough.


"Such is glamour in the age of lunatics with guns."



We are trying our very best to ease back into posting, which will likely be spotty for a few days as we regain our composure following Paddy's untimely death. We are still reeling, doing what we can to keep TPC going and figuring out changes in format.

So please bear with us, and thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for caring, commenting, and donating to her family to help them with funeral arrangements. You mean the world to us, and always did to our Paddy.

Life goes on...

gun crazy

David Horsey Golden Globes

The talented cartoonist David Horsey commented on one aspect of the Golden Globes that I hadn't seen anywhere else: Security at show biz awards shows, or as I like to call it, guns 'n' poses. The panel above was one of four.

In my morning edition of the Los Angeles Times, he added a line to the above comic that the online version inexplicably left out:

"Such is glamour in the age of lunatics with guns."

All that was missing was:

"Who are you wearing?"


This particular strip points out the irony of the film industry which makes zillions of dollars on movies that regularly feature (and profit from) violent and graphic depictions of homicides, shoot-outs, all sorts of crimes, and of course, suicides, all at the point of glorified guns.


"You can take away my gun when you pry it out of my child's cold, dead hands."


guns don't die children do

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Student opens fire at Colo. school," Dec. 14

News of the latest school shooting ends up in The Times on Page 10. That is how numb we have become to these horrifying acts of violence.

This time, however, there is no uproar about gun control that will eventually die out. That's because we don't have politicians brave enough to stand up to the far right and the gun lobby. Instead, it's all about keeping those votes.

How about just starting the dialogue again? Let's tighten gun laws and, at least, get rid of assault weapons.

Someone once told me that if you ever tried to take the guns away from Americans, you would end up with a civil war. My response: What would the difference be? We are already killing one another.

Susan Straughn Harris



In light of the latest school shooting, maybe it is time for the National Rifle Assn. to rephrase one of its favorite slogans: You can take away my gun when you pry it out of my child's cold, dead hands.

Lauren Siadek