Where: Fort Lowell Park: 2900 North Craycroft Rd, Tucson
Here are my recent posts from only the last week or so relating to children and guns:
A ThinkProgress review of the NRA children’s magazine, InSights, found another piece of disturbing advice: kids should build target ranges inside their homes. The article, “BB, It’s Cold Outside,” ran in the January 2013 edition of InSights.
It sure did:
Okay, that’s not disturbing at all.
Who can resist a sweet little cherub with a rifle? Don’tcha just wanna pinch his cheeks? Well, yes, actually I do, he is adorable. But I’d rather pinch his parents’ and the NRA’s judgment… really, really hard:
While the article does tell kids to follow standard firing range safety rules and ask adult permission before setting up the indoor range, here are some other tips it offers:
– “Eliminate ricochet with a proper backstop. You have no idea how bouncy a tiny metal ball can be until you hear one whizzing by your head.”
– “There are plenty of indoor range setups you can find on the internet.”
– “You don’t want people opening a door or looking in a window to see a BB gun pointing at them.”
– “While you’re thinking of cool stuff to use as targets, also keep in mind how you’re going to set them up in your range. Hanging targets work great, by the way.”
– “When you’re trying to improve accuracy, BB guns are the best. If you have a habit of flinching when pulling the trigger, BB guns will help you work that out.”
Because, see, BB guns aren’t really guns, they’re just funsy practice playthings that shoot little bouncy balls. Bouncy balls that can maim or kill.
[The article] is addressed to children who are “shooting a real gun now” but can’t wait to practice until it’s warm enough outside to make firing one fun…
How many little ones would you trust to remember every safety tip, adhere to them, and shoot accurately? I have really good kids, but when they were very young, they simply couldn’t be counted on to act as mini-adults. Not even my perfectly perfect twins.
No child is 100% responsible. Nor are 100% of adults, for that matter, as all these articles document. And little ones can’t be expected to have the coordination and maturity to know which is more lethal, a BB gun or a real one.
Yet companies like Crickett and organizations like the NRA are more interested in sales than they are in saving lives.
Think Progress has more.
Please welcome Christopher W. Brown, a researcher for the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence. This is his first guest post at TPC:
History Repeating Itself At The NRA’s Annual Meeting.
How The Worst Moments Of The NRA’s 2013 Annual Meeting Showed The Organization’s Ugly History Repeating Itself
The world was following the NRA’s annual meeting with greater levels of attention than ever before and the NRA lived up to their reputation with a series of shocking, embarrassing and offensive moments. While these events show the extremism of the modern NRA, many of them also show the NRA is in fact embracing and repeating the ugliest moments in the organization’s sordid history. Here’s some of the worst moments of the 2013 annual meeting and their historical antecedents:
1. New NRA President James Porter Demands A New Culture War.
James Porter didn’t waste any time before stoking controversy telling his fellow gun activists it was their responsibility to wage a new “culture war.” The extremism on display at the convention is nothing new for Porter who has previously called President Obama a “fake President” and referred the American Civil War the “War of Northern Aggression.”
Porter’s words echoes long time NRA President Charlton Heston’s racist and homophobic culture war speeches. In 1997 Charlton Heston, who served as the NRA’s President from 1998-2003, listed a variety of purported grievances against whites in a speech delivered to the Free Congress Foundation. Heston’s remarks were denounced by former President of the NAACP Julian Bond as “bigoted and homophobic.” In 1999 Heston returned to the subject in a speech titled “Winning the Culture War” where he lamented that the term “white pride” was viewed as racist.
The relevance of Porter’s decision to start his term as NRA president mirroring the language Heston used to express barely veiled bigotry shouldn’t be lost on anyone.
2. Glenn Beck Suggests That A Shooting Was A “Set Up” Meant To Discredit The NRA.
One day before the convention opened it’s doors a highly disturbed man opened fire in Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport drawing counter fire from security personnel before turning the gun on himself. The shooter brought an AR-15 assault rifle to the airport, but never used it. Sadly and unsurprisingly Glenn Beck suggested the incident could have been a “set up” by the “uber-left” meant to discredit the NRA.
In fact it would be surprising if pro-gun extremists weren’t pushing a conspiracy theory in the wake a well-publicized act of gun violence. Most recently, Alex Jones called the Boston Marathon bombings a “false flag” and we saw the sickening outbreak of Sandy Hook truther videos suggesting the mass shooting was fake and the victims families were “crisis actors.” The NRA didn’t touch those two smears, but the group is no stranger to these types of conspiracy theories. The NRA spent 2011 suggesting the Obama administration intentionally orchestrated the failed ATF investigation Fast and Furious to enable a push for greater gun restrictions. Years earlier Wayne LaPierre similarly suggested Bill Clinton willfully allowed gun violence for the same reason.
3. Glenn Beck Portrays New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg As Nazi
Glenn Beck might have been too crazy for Fox News, but that didn’t stop the NRA from inviting him to again share his conspiratorial ramblings with the conference attendees. The NRA got their money’s worth as Beck smeared New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as he displayed an image likening Bloomberg to a Nazi.
Nazi smears are nothing new for the NRA. During the nineties Wayne LaPierre likened federal law enforcement agents to Nazis in the NRA’s publications and fundraising materials. Former President George H.W. Bush famously resigned his lifetime NRA membership over LaPierre describing federal agents as “jack-booted thugs”, but in fact an earlier comment by LaPierre made the Nazi link explicitly.
4. Obama Look-Alike Zombie Removed For Convention.
Disturbing rhetoric is old hat for the NRA, but this year’s annual meeting also featured the visibly disturbing and indeed just plain disgusting. Convention vendor Zombie Industries was asked to take down their zombie themed shooting target after complaints that it resembled President Obama. While the life sized three-dimensional target was taken down, it was still available for sale at the booth.
Remember the concealed-carry hoodie they pushed after the Trayvon Martin shooting? The NRA aggressively markets branded accessories, such as the toaster that will burn their logo onto your bread, to their supporters. When unarmed African American teenager Trayvon Martin was killed by concealed carry permit holder George Zimmerman his hoodie gained wide symbolic importance after Geraldo Rivera suggested the hoodie had contributed to Martin’s death. As the case was receiving wide media attention the NRA’s online store generated controversy by selling a hoodie designed with a special pocket to hold a handgun.
5. NRA Embraces Fringe Gun Activist Jeff Knox’s Extremist Resolution.
During the opening session of the convention the attendees approved a resolution calling for opposition to any and all new gun restrictions put forward by Jeff Knox head of the hardline Firearms Coalition. The resolution’s blind and thoughtless embrace of absolutism perfectly encapsulates the modern NRA’s indifference to common sense gun policy.
Pushing the NRA to the fringe is a family business for Knox. Knox’s father Neal is credited with purging moderate voices from the NRA in the 70s and 80s. This year the NRA proved so compliant to their most extremist supporters’ agenda that even without a formal leadership role Jeff Knox was able to continue the family tradition of pushing the NRA even further as far from the mainstream.
If you’re interested in learning more about the NRA’s leadership please visit http://www.meetthenra.org/, which is maintained by the Education Fund To Stop Gun Violence.
No sooner had I posted What to do with NRA convention Obama-lookalike shooting target that “bleeds”? Wait two days, then hide it! than a sharp-eyed reader in Comments noticed that, among the array of targets at Zombie Industries to choose from, there was “The Ex”:
Even more disturbing is the “EX”. It’s an ex-girlfriend/wife target. I checked the site…there’s not ex-boyfriend/husband target. Just a female target entitled “THE EX”. Promoting and making money off of violence against women is disgusting.
According to the site and their tongue-in-cheek disclaimer:
In addition to the Ex Girlfriend Zombie, we currently sell 15 male zombies, 5 animal zombies & 2 aliens… to discriminate against Women by not having them represented in our product selection would be just plain sexist. All Zombie Industries’ products are fictitious characters and works of fiction. Names, characters, stories, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events or locales is entirely coincidental. Zombie Industries is sorry if anyone takes offense to any of our products. But we also have a responsibility to our customers to provide the best possible products to help them prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse.
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 what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?
Remember the actor in the History Channel’s “The Bible” who played Satan, but he also looked a little too much like President Obama for comfort? Remember all the fallout? That was awkward.
Well he’s got nothin’ on the target at the NRA convention that also resembles the president. The target that people shoot at. The target that gets bloody when you shoot at it. The target that looks like the first African American president.
Zombie Industries is selling a line of “life sized” targets that, yes, “bleed when you shoot them.” Gee, that’s not vile and disgusting at all!
The Obama lookalike has finally been taken down after being on display for two days. They hid it. Now there’s a big gap where it used to sit between two other creepy products that, by the way, offer “Free Shipping!” to NRA members.
But that’s okay, gang, it’s still available! Get yours today! Fun for the whole “pro-life” family!
BuzzFeed has the rest. Just. Go. Read.
When asked if the Obama likeness was intentional the worker said, “Let’s just say I gave my Republican father one for Christmas.”
“They are just scared some liberal reporter will come by and start bitching” another booth worker said to men gathered around the booth. “But ya know, he does look very familiar.”
For people who surround themselves with firearms, they sure are “scared” of us liberals.
BuzzFeed has the whole story. Go.
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