Archive for gunmakers

3 GOP-supported policies that do nothing to prevent-- & can contribute to--mass murders like Navy Yard massacre

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guns enough smaller

mass gun killings since PBO took office animated GIF

This graphic shows the Mass Shooting/Killing incidents since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. (H/t: Nicole Sandler)

In today's Los Angeles Times, there was an article that went into more detail about Navy Yard murderer Aaron Alexis's "calm, indiscriminate" gun massacre, and how he intended to kill as many people as possible.

As I read the piece, three passages stood out to me, three passages that were painful reminders of how wrongheaded Republican policies are and how the consequences of their laws can hurt Americans.

Let's take them one at a time.

One: Conservatives are obsessed with Small Government (except, of course, when their party's legislators shove trans-vaginal ultrasound probes into women's vaginas against their will). Ironically, it slips what's left of their minds that We the People are government, Elected officials represent We the People. We the People gave them their Big Government jobs. And they claim to value We the People over government, so by shrinking government, they're contradicting themselves by squeezing We the People out. We, too, become smaller. Oops.

Meantime, here's what happens when the GOP succeeds in downsizing the role of that Big Bad Evil Kenyan Marxist Government:

Anthony Meely, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police's labor committee for the Navy Yard's officers, said in an interview that the force was woefully undermanned Monday because of government cutbacks, which may have led to additional deaths. There were only six patrolmen on duty instead of 11, all were posted at the gates, and only two patrol cars were available [...]

Meely summed up: "I believe the security guard might still be alive if we had had adequate staffing." Instead, he said, "we were undermanned."

So budget cuts eliminated the very protection the shooting victims' lives depended on. Budget cuts resulted in people dying.

Two: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Uh huh:

The chief could hear the shots ringing inside and saw the private security guard at one of the entrances, Meely said. The chief told the guard to unholster his weapon and be prepared to return fire, Meely said, and when the guard did, Alexis shot him.

The bad guy with the gun killed the good guy with a gun. Again, the end result was death.

Three: Gotta have those High Capacity Magazines, because the Second Amendment is the most important Constitutional Amendment evah! The problem with that is, those magazines allow high volume, uninterrupted bullet paths right smack into a large number of human targets. Mass murderers have often been tackled only when they needed to stop and reload. Had Alexis had an assault style firearm capable of shooting 30 to 100 rounds before having to reload, more people would have died:

[FBI Director James B. Comey] said the rampage ended only when Alexis ran out of ammunition. "He was isolated and pinned down by the first responders," he said.

Freedom to own certain weapons is one thing. Freedom to spray crowds with bullets is another. Most of us support the freedom to breathe without fear of being mowed down.

But gun makers donate to politicians and the NRA, and politicians and the NRA do their bidding. Because, you know, freedom.

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Gun makers set our national policy. "Is having such easy access to guns worth the carnage?" No.

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nra

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

Re "13 dead in D.C. shooting," Sept. 17

For too long we have allowed the gun lobby to set our national gun policy. It has been a perilous experiment that has cost American lives, including 12 innocents at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday.

The gun lobby's only interest is to sell more guns, plain and simple, so it steadfastly opposes any and all attempts to implement the most common-sense regulations, such as requiring a background check for every firearm purchase. Too many spineless politicians kowtow to the lobby's demands.

Mass shootings committed with dangerous weapons easily obtained by dangerous people have become commonplace. It's time to establish a national gun policy that has saving American lives as its priority.

Loren Lieb

Northridge

***

The elephant in the room grows larger by the day and still goes unnoticed.

What a sad commentary it is on the state of our society when mental illness goes improperly untreated, as it apparently did for gunman Aaron Alexis. How many opportunities arose in his life when he could have been treated?

We live in a society that puts such a stigma on mental illness that we would rather let those afflicted go untreated with the possibility of harming others or themselves rather than have a system of true mental health care.

Russ Levine

Temecula

***

In the aftermath of yet another mass shooting, we will read the usual barrage of letters both for and against gun control, which is par for the course.

But 12 more individuals have been massacred and the gunman is dead, so each and every one of us must ask ourselves one question: Is having such easy access to guns worth the carnage? Any honest, thoughtful individual would assuredly say no.

Jack Wolf

Westwood

***

Sadly, my reaction to the latest massacre is one of cynicism grounded in logic, given our inability to achieve responsible gun control in our country. After reading about the tragic event in our nation's capital, my questions are these: What's new about this, and when can we expect the next slaughter?

Joan Horn

Carlsbad

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"No atrocity/crime trumps my gun rights." Well, no gun rights should trump MY right to stay safe/alive.

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gun nut cartoon

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

Re "Aurora, one year later," July 20

One counter-protester near a ceremony in Aurora, Colo., carried a sign reading "No atrocity/crime trumps my gun rights."

Perhaps I am naive to think that the person carrying that sign might reevaluate his or her attitude toward gun rights if his or her parent, sibling or child had been murdered in that Aurora theater, or at Sandy Hook Elementary School, or at Columbine High School. Or accidentally killed in his or her own home, and with his or her own weapon.

If the sign-bearer did not reevaluate his or her attitude within the context of such a personal tragedy, then I understand why those of us promoting rational regulations controlling access to all types of weapons in this country — including those with a reasonable place only within a military context — are doomed to failure.

Jana K. Shaker

Riverside

What do you want to bet that the sign-carrier considers him/herself a "right-to-lifer."

right to life my ass pro life

These people are the true pro-lifers: For 200 Hours And Counting, Sit-In At Florida Capitol Demands Stand Your Ground Repeal.

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5-year-old North Carolina boy shoots 4-year-old

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errorfatal

Here we go again. In this latest episode, a 5-year-old decided to emulate someone he's apparently watched handle a firearm. Or maybe it just looked like a new toy or something enticing enough to explore. Whatever the reason, it was available to him, and it was loaded. And unfortunately, it went off and a bullet hit a 4-year-old.

Via WXII 12 News:

Officials said it appeared the 5-year-old boy found the gun in a downstairs closet and accidentally discharged the weapon.

The good news: The 4-year-old was in stable condition with a non-life-threatening injury to his shoulder.

The bad news: The 4-year-old was in stable condition with a non-life-threatening injury to his shoulder.

The other bad news: The 5-year-old shot him. With a gun. That he found, still loaded, because of the negligence of at least one adult gun owner.

The other other bad news: The NRA and gun manufacturers refuse to help end the cycle of violence because money and power are their priority. They encourage kids to beg Mommy and Daddy for their very own guns that are marketed to them in pretty colors in fun magazines. It's up to us to keep the pressure up.

Police are still investigating the incident, and WXII is reporting that an adult was in the home when the shooting occurred.

#protectingthefamily

#butwegrewuparoundguns

#responsible

#youdontunderstand

#AmericanTradition

#selfprotection

#JustATool

H/t: LiveWire

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More killed by toddlers than terrorists in U.S.

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gun deaths v terrorism deaths

I borrowed the headline from this post from J.J. Goldberg over at the Jewish Daily Forward. His piece is so concise and to the point that it's hard to add much. Please link over to read the whole thing, but here is the bottom line:

Number of persons killed on American soil so far this year by terrorists: 3.

Number of persons killed on American soil so far this year by toddlers: 5.

Gee, maybe the NSA should start eavesdropping on tiny tots more. Oh, but I kid the NSA.

He goes on to document those statements, and it isn't pretty.

CNN, who titles their own post "More Americans killed in gun deaths than in terrorist attacks," picks up where Goldberg left off with this, plus a video:

In fact, the number of Americans killed in guns deaths is far larger than the number of those killed in terrorist attacks around the world every year.  [...]

While the United States government has invested more than half a trillion dollars on homeland security since the September 11,, 2001 attacks, according to the Congressional Budget Office, there has been practically no effort to deter gun violence.

Tom Diaz, former member of the NRA and former senior analyst at the Violence Policy Center:

NRA has made it clear ... that there are no shades of gray in this debate.... "We will not compromise on any gun control legislation."

The NRA and the gun industry have had a campaign to shut down information, because they lose every time the argument is based on fact...

According to the latest Pew Research Center poll, 82% favor background checks, 55% favor a ban on assault-style weapons, and 54% favor a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips.

We should all breathe a sigh of relief that we still have the freedom to be gunned down, even by toddlers. Thank the NRA, firearms manufacturers, and gun zealots in Congress for continuing to support those helpful Second Amendment remedies.

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Game Over: Video game industry urged to stop marketing deadly weapons to children, “who are considered possible future owners”

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video games guns game over

Just a little something I received in my inbox (bolding mine). A fitting sequel to my last post, San Francisco sues gun companies for selling disassembled high-capacity magazines disguised as gun repair kits:

 Game Over: Video Game Industry Urged to Stop Promoting Guns and Gun Manufacturers

As E3 Conference Kicks Off, New Report Condemns Licensing Agreements and Product Placement for Guns in Games

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Launches Pledge Petition

Washington, DC – According to a new report out today, video game manufacturers are signing profitable licensing agreements and product placement deals with the gun industry, and providing a dangerous promotional platform for assault weapons and other military-style weapons, including the same firearms used in mass shootings at Columbine and Sandy Hook Elementary.

According to the report, these video games often feature real-world weapons by make and model and have offered cross-promotional opportunities to players, often children, to purchase them once the game is over.

The report, published today by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and The Gun Truth Project urges the video game industry to cut commercial ties to weapons manufacturers and to end deals with the gun industry that promote deadly weapons to children.

The report’s publication comes as the video game industry convenes in Los Angeles for its annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

“We are outraged that video game companies and gun manufacturers are entering into deals to market guns to our children, particularly given the real-life epidemic of gun violence in America,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

The report demonstrates that licensing deals between video game companies and gun manufacturers are specifically aimed at increasing the visibility of firearms. One gun industry representative cited in the report even brags that video games provide an opportunity to promote to children, “who are considered possible future owners.”

However, the report shows that these promotional deals are actually not profitable for video game manufacturers. In fact, games featuring real-world guns identified by make and model do not sell any better than games with made-up weapon names. According to the report, the economic benefit is almost exclusively on the gun manufacturers' side.

One of the largest video game manufacturers, Electronic Arts (EA), announced just last month that it would no longer enter into licensing agreements with gun manufacturers after a legal dispute over a licensing agreement.

“We not only applaud that decision, we are asking the rest of the video game industry to follow suit,” said Watts. “There is no reason why video game manufacturers should do the gun industry's dirty work, promoting assault and military-style weapons to our children and teens.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is urging video game companies to follow Electronic Arts’ lead and sign a pledge not to enter into any new licensing or product placement deals with gun manufacturers. The Every Child Matters Education Fund is supporting the effort.

Michael Petit, President of the national children’s advocacy group, the Every Child Matters Education Fund, added “thousands of children and teenagers are killed by guns every year. How any company, knowing that, could continue to market guns to our kids is simply beyond me. It is unacceptable.”

While the link between video games and real-world violence continues to be investigated, the report out today details the link between recent mass shootings and the video games of choice of the mass shooters and the correlation to the weapons they used in the shootings. For example, it has been widely reported that the Newtown elementary school shooter was an avid player of Call of Duty, which features Bushmaster semi-automatic rifles. During  last December's shooting spree, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, he fired off 154 shots from a Bushmaster XM15-E2S.

“The manufacturers of video games should not enter into deals that promote assault weapons and military-style weapons to our children. The gun industry and their lobbyists have proven time and again that they’re only motive is profit, not encouraging reforms or regulations that would make our children and families safer. To them, our children are pawns to be manipulated for profit,” said Watts.

###

About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to change laws regarding drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (www.momsdemandaction.org) was created to build support for common-sense gun legislation. The nonpartisan grassroots movement of American mothers is demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. In just six months, the organization has more than 100,000 members with more than 90 local chapters in 40 states across the country.

Every Child Matters Education Fund was established in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization to make public investments in children, youth, and families a national political priority.

The Gun Truth Project is a working group and rapid response team leading efforts to expose, isolate, and fracture the gun lobby.

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"Soup Nazi" actor to gun maker: No tee shirts for you!

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soup nazi no soup for you

The "Soup Nazi" episode on Seinfeld was a classic, always one of my favorites. Larry Thomas played the soup kitchen owner's role beautifully, and as far as I'm concerned, he's handling his new role as a gun safety advocate well, too.

Florida-based gun manufacturer Serbu was peddling tee shirts with Thomas's image on them... without permission. This is the same gun maker that refused to sell a specific type of semi-automatic sniper rifle to the New York Police Department as a protest against Gov. Andrew Cuomo's new gun laws banning the rifle, among other things.

The owner, Mark Serbu, was quoted as saying the following:

“Larry Thomas doesn’t want his face on our shirt . . . He’s an actor, he doesn’t want to be involved with something as hot-button as guns. We are just going to shoot him. Only joking... We don’t want to get into a lawsuit; we’ll change the shirts.”

Hey Serbu, no class for you!

TPM:

As part of Serbu's campaign, the company has released t-shirts using the image of the Soup Nazi with the caption, "No Serbu for You!" — a play off the character's iconic line from the sitcom. But Thomas said he wants no part of the campaign, telling the New York Post that he has contacted Serbu, Facebook and the company that produces the t-shirts to issue a complaint.

I own the rights to my image as the Soup Nazi. Serbu did not ask my permission, and Facebook won’t take the image down," Thomas said. "Not only did they do this without my authorization, but also I am an advocate of gun control.”

The founder of Serbu did finally take down the images of the Soup Nazi character and added a new one along with the comment, "Well? How about this one? I'm not as photogenic as the soup nazi [sic] but at least we won't get sued over it!"

soup nazi fb gun maker pageNeedless to say, Serbu's Facebook buddies are not being kind to Larry Thomas in the comments section under each of the posts, including this one:

fb soup nazi gun maker denialFacebook link

Mike Mathews:

As the soup NAZI he prefers unarmed people. Just like the Nazi party preferred unarmed Jews, fitting. No work for you!

Tom Morrison

Step 1: Contact John Stossel
Step 2: Ask John Stossel to dress up as Soup Nazi
Step 3: Photograph John Stossel as Soup Nazi
Step 4: Place image on T-Shirts
Step 5: Profit, humor and LIBERTY~!

John Cundiff

Don't change the shirts! What a schmuck! Fuck him! What's he gonna do?

Ken Wilson

A gun control advocate? So he is a Nazi in real life also,huh?

Tony Marinski White

Make up a single shirt, blast it with a Super Shorty. Profit!

One of them called Thomas a "silly soup hippie," and another chose the overused blog troll term all too familiar to those of us on Twitter, "libtard."

stay classy

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