What possible reason could any parent have to encourage their child to use an Uzi? Despite how "mature" the 9-year-old who accidentally fatally shot her range instructor seemed to everyone involved, IMHO there is no justification for allowing her to shoot a sub-machine gun. I can hardly write about this, I am that outraged, angry, and stunned.
Instead, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
What an outrageous display of irresponsibility at this Arizona gun range. ( “Uzi accident is fatal,” Aug. 27)
I am not only talking about the girl’s parents or the gun instructor.
More to the point, it is the senselessness of voters in this country who insist that legally possessing a gun designed solely to rapidly kill multiple people represents 2nd Amendment freedom.
Ron Landesman, Los Angeles
Smoke was coming out of my ears while I read this article. In what universe does a sane, reasonably intelligent person show a 9-year old how to fire an Uzi?
Lord knows I’m no firearms expert, but even I know the recoil could be substantial if the shooter weighs about 60 pounds, the average weight of a 9-year old girl.
Benjamin Franklin famously answered a question about the new nation, calling it “a republic — if you can keep it.”
Has our country’s passion for guns overtaken our capacity to reason? And does that passion threaten our liberty? I think the Founding Fathers would be spinning in their graves if they saw how the extraordinary republic they created interprets the “right to bear arms” amendment today.
Danielle Karson, Pasadena
Kids cope by internalizing responsibility for terrible things that happen — even if it’s not their fault — in situations far less dramatic than this.
So I have one question: How will these children (and God only knows how many more) — who, at their ages, are cognizant enough to understand what happened — cope with the tremendous guilt for the rest of their lives?
David Fritz, Reseda
The tragic death of the gun instructor is puzzling on so many levels. First, why was he teaching a 9-year-old to fire an Uzi? And why were this child’s parents bringing her to a range to learn to shoot an Uzi?
We all know Arizona , like many other states, has issues with crime, illegal immigration and drug smuggling, but has it really come to arming children with Uzis? I sure hope not.
Marty Foster, Ventura
My thoughts are with the 9-year-old girl, her family and the family of the deceased. Having said this, among the questions I have are:
When are we Americans going to learn to divorce ourselves from this love affair we seem to have with guns?
How much more tragedy must we endure at the hands of guns?
Hugo Pastore, Torrance
When is it ever necessary in the U.S. for anyone under the age of 10 to use an Uzi? What is wrong with us as citizens? We should be howling in outrage.
Please, can we finally legislate control of automatic weapons? There is no need for them in daily life.
This was an avoidable tragedy on so many levels.
Susan Van Buren, Newbury Park
The mind boggles. Most parents would not allow their 9-year-old to cross the street by themselves, not to mention handling dangerous machinery.
What earthly reason is there for putting a fatal assault weapon in the hands of a child?
Is this how far the reach of the NRA goes?
Nancy Lazerson, Encinitas
If I have the facts right from your news article and your Op-Ed piece, then we are allowed to put an Uzi into the hands of a 9-year-old girl, but we are prohibited from hugging her when she realizes that she has taken a human life. (“Too litigious for hugs,” Opinion, Aug. 27)
Wayland Marie, Riverside
And after you witness an instructor get his brains blown out by a 9-year old shooting an Uzi sub machine gun, you can eat a giant, juicy burger. Mmmmm.
This is what we've apparently come to. Welcome to America.
The website for Bullets & Burgers was down this morning. I expected either to see an apology and notice that children would no longer be able to shoot these lethal weapons - or a memorial to the now-dead instructor, Charles Vacca. Sadly, the website is now back up - with pictures of all the weapons that you can go there to shoot, but not a mention of the tragic and preventable shooting death that took place there less than 48 hours ago. Interestingly, there is no phone number on their site either.
This is only the latest sickening gun story to emerge in a country that offers multiple similar stories each day. If you're looking for that kind of blood lust, just follow David Waldman's #gunfail blog over at Daily Kos.
[They] have given $1 million to Initiative 594 in Washington state. The ballot initiative, if passed by voters on November 4 (and it currently enjoys overwhelming support), will require universal background checks for all firearm purchases in the state.
I also wanted to speak with Cliff about the NRA's continued hypocrisy, this time in the wake of Ferguson and their failure to defend the African American community there.
But, of course, we talked at length about this tragedy that killed a 39-year old man, and will forever haunt a 9-year old little girl.
Susie Madrak of Crooks & Liars joined me in the first hour of today's show. She pointed out that
accidents preventable shooting deaths like this have happened before.
We also spoke about the racial divide, not only in Ferguson, MO but all over this nation, that's been amplified since the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Susie has a piece up at C&L , "In Ferguson, Black Drivers Are Profitable Cash Cows For Town's Coffers," about the racial makeup of traffic stops in that town, something that's echoed in small towns across the USA. We also discussed the plight of TV & film producer Charles Belk, in LA for the Emmys, who was detained by Beverly Hill police for being a tall, bald, black man. He posted his first hand account of what was done to him on Facebook. It's a travesty.
Then there's the shooting death of John Crawford III in Ohio, killed by police in Walmart for carrying a toy gun he got off a shelf in the toy department.
These stories are all too plentiful, and they must stop.
I've been asking what the spark that'll light the fuse to get Americans off our asses to make sure things change. I think Mike Brown's death was the spark, but it's a very, very long fuse.
Anonymous is trying to take the lead. Operation Ferguson is calling for a General Strike this Friday in the state of Missouri. They've set up a website at OperationFerguson.cf with all the info. But here's a taste:
A Message From The Protesters In Ferguson To Anonymous - READ HERE
Press Release READ HERE
Communique READ HERE
Operational Information CLICK HERE
ACTION ALERT 1: White House Petition To Enact "Mike Brown's Law" - SIGN HERE
ACTION ALERT 2: White House Petition To Remove Governor Nixon From Office - SIGN HERE
Missouri Statewide "Hands Up & Walk Out" General Strike - READ HERE
Real-Time Updated List Of Solidarity Protests - CLICK HERE
I'll be back tomorrow for the Thursday show. I'll speak with journalist Steven Thrasher and The Brad Blog's Brad Friedman, Radio or Not!
Rick Perry found his niche.
Being indicted -- finally -- at the gubernatorial level.
It's going around, not the best year for conservative governors. Still praying that Chris Christie's moment is close. November is right around the proverbial corner.
It is critical that we all get our derrieres to the Voting Booth, friends. It's positively likely we may see (and hear) that giant fall from Trenton.
Superb footage by Maddow, she's been all over Perry. Two takes.
Maddow is ah-mazing, on every story - she does background and employs a fact checker. Remember those?
Fascinating piece on Perry by Cleveland Online.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- On paper, Texas Governor Rick Perry has been indicted by an Austin grand jury on two felony counts for coercion and abuse of official capacity. But in reality, Perry is being prosecuted for playing hardball politics and nothing more.
Perry's indictment stems from his response to Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg pleading guilty to DUI charges in 2013. Perry, along with other Texas officials, demanded Lehmberg resign, declaring her unfit to continue serving as D.A. and head of the State's Public Integrity Unit. When Lehmberg refused, Perry used his line-item veto power to slash the funding of the Public Integrity Unit. Travis County is the county seat of the Texas Capitol. Perry and other elected officials have long sought to have the powers of the State Public Integrity Unit Transfered to the State Attorney General's office.
The real abuse of power here seems to be the special prosecutor seeking to indict Perry for demanding the resignation of a D.A. convicted of DUI and using his constitutional line-item veto powers.
If politicians like Perry are going to start being jailed for being politicians and using authorized powers, it's going to take a lot of Texas illegal aliens to help build all the new prisons that will be needed to house them all.
Now there's yer' sign. Will Perry Operatives and Sugah Daddy's jump ship like the rats they are? Wouldn't be very nice to have poor GreenPeace stuck with him.
Perry's own words:
More Ick, sorry for the Fvx overtones.
Bill Bubba Clinton raised 600,000 in Kentucky alone for Lundergan-Rimes, and after Fancy Farm 2014 (they'd prefer 1714 but you can't always get what you want as a political extremest) … perhaps that's why they're so damn angry and hatin' hatin' hat in'.From Morning Schmoe and Mika, on messbbc.
From Now with Alex Wagner:
Whatever we might think of the Clintons, Bill can seriously make it rain.
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.
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