Archive for NRA

"Here's what your money is buying right now..."

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gop your money

We have written countless posts about the Supreme Court's terrible Citizens United decision, followed by their latest debacle, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the other appalling Supreme Court ruling that favors billionaires and allows them to influence our election outcomes.

Even Garry Trudeau couldn't keep quiet about it any longer: The Koch brothers can buy anything, including Doonesbury!  As I said in that post, a very few obscenely wealthy individuals are able to spend lavishly on candidates, politicians, and potential votes while, try as you might, your money simply can't compete with the endless supply of cash donated by the corporate big boys.

And with that, another installment of today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Money won't buy you votes," Opinion, April 20

Sure, money won't buy the vote of a regular person, but it sure can buy members of the state legislature or Congress. Here's what your money is buying right now:

Profits on gun sales fund the National Rifle Assn. and ensure that even when little kids get slaughtered at school, universal background checks won't pass the Senate despite the fact that about 90% of the country supports them.

Wealthy people who make money from investments make sure they don't get taxed at the same rates as wage earners.

Money strangles the implementation of banking reform. And it makes sure that no matter how many floods, fires or hurricanes we have, nothing is done about climate change.

Best of all, money buys donors the ability to hide behind "social welfare" organizations so nobody knows who's doing these evil things.

Joanne Zirretta

Aliso Viejo

**

A large war chest doesn't guarantee victory, as Republican Meg Whitman learned in 2010 when voters elected Democrat Jerry Brown governor by a wide margin.

But what money does allow is for the wealthy to buy the loyalty of politicians. The handful of GOP presidential hopefuls who visited billionaire Sheldon Adelson recently offer proof of that.

Most Americans agree that the latest Supreme Court rulings loosening campaign finance rules were steps in the wrong direction.

Kyle Laurent

Newhall

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How does GOP lure supporters? By giving away lethal weapons.

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free gun chick not included lethal weapons

because FREEDOM

Via .ecobumperstickers.com

Gun owners are passionate, and the GOP knows it, which is exactly why they use lethal weapons to bribe entice them. Nothing says "right to life" like an AR-15... unless, of course, you get Second Amendmented by one. That "culture of life" "freedom loving" conservatives love to trumpet is nothing more than a culture of violence and intimidation.

And gun violence abruptly ends the freedom to breathe.

The New York Times:

Online gun sweepstakes have become one of the most useful tools for campaign outreach in the 2014 Republican primaries. Across the country, from a race for sheriff in California to the United States Senate primary in South Carolina, candidates are using high-powered pistols and rifles as a lure to build up their donor lists and expand their base of support.

The method may be new, but the concept is actually a durable campaign device. Take a group of possible supporters who are highly motivated around an issue, in this case gun ownership and Second Amendment rights, and pique their interest with good marketing. Then, once you have their attention, solicit their personal information and follow up to ask for support and money. [...]

[The NRA] employs a range of online campaigns, including Facebook-based contests that provide the organization not just with people’s names, but also with their information-rich public profiles and lists of their friends. Millions of people have entered these contests, the group said.

Zac Moffatt, who oversaw Mitt Romney’s digital strategy in 2012 and founded a firm that develops online campaigns, notes that dangling lethal weapons in front of gun fondling voters "could get you a couple extra thousand votes you didn’t otherwise know about.”

How "pro-life" can you get?

And speaking of hypocrisy, in order to qualify for a chance to win a killing machine, you have to pass a-- wait for it-- background check. But... but... gun zealots hate those pesky background checks! What gives?

Says Lee Bright, a state senator from South Carolina who is primarying GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, “You definitely don’t want [a weapon did not fall into the wrong hands]... Not in the middle of the campaign.”

Ahhh, the old "it's campaign time, so we better look over our shoulders up our hypocrisy game play it safe" plan.

Apparently ex-Congressman Tom Tancredo is throwing caution to the windbag. He's relying on Ted Nugent to get his message out. Nugent:

“We all better wake up and fight back together before it’s too late,” Mr. Nugent wrote in an email to Tancredo supporters. “Enter to win a semiautomatic AR-15 – when you’re done, consider making a donation of $25 or more to help Tom keep our freedoms protected.”

Give us all your money and you could win a chance to own a brand new deadly weapon with which you can kill another human being! But first and foremost, donate! Because... freedom!

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

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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.

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"Suppose an undercover officer 'looks like' a robber and I shoot him...My bad."

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shoot first ask never

Can a "good guy with a gun" shoot a "bad guy with a gun" with 100% accuracy? The answer is obvious, as is pointed out in today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor... because our voices matter:

Re "Gun madness in Georgia," Editorial, March 27

The National Rifle Assn. flourishes because people believe the big lie that there are good people with guns and bad people with guns.

No. There are only people with guns. When gun-toters get angry, greedy, frightened or psychotic, they shoot other people. Mix dense populations with easy gun access, and innocent people will be maimed and killed by bullets. That's inevitable.

Apparently no body count is high enough to stop the insanity. I just pray that I, and people I care about, can make it to the end of our lives without being shot.

Bonnie Sloane

Los Angeles

***

Suppose I'm legally carrying a concealed gun at a business when armed robbers show up. Fearing for my life, I just want to get out of the store, but the front door is the only way out.

Let's assume I can't tell who is whom by how they're dressed. How will I know which of these gunfighters to shoot as I try to get through the doors to safety? Should I just kill anyone between the door and me? Will any police officers who arrive know that I am not one of the robbers? Suppose an undercover officer "looks like" a robber and I shoot him, thinking I'm a "good guy with a gun" taking care of a "bad guy with a gun." What do I tell their families? "My bad"?

Jan Miller

Orange

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Stew of corruption: Just add politicians, cash, and simmer.

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culture of corruption

Last night, Rachel Maddow did a segment on several recent corruption scandals involving state level politicians, in this case Democrats. It was pretty jaw-dropping. Included in her report was the arrest yesterday of California State Sen. Leland Yee:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This morning, I came across this Los Angeles Times article about Yee and noticed this:

Democrat Derek Cressman, one of Yee's opponents in the secretary of state race, called his arrest a "wake-up call."

"We are clearly beyond the point of looking at one bad apple and instead looking at a corrupt institution in the California Senate," Cressman said. "The constant begging for campaign cash clearly has a corrosive effect on a person's soul and the only solution is to get big money out of our politics once and for all."

Then I saw this Los Angeles Times editorial:

This page has been firm in its opposition to the NRA's abject disdain of the public good in pursuing its warped view of the 2nd Amendment's right to bear arms and its bullying approach to the political process. But the blame for this national insanity should not be placed entirely on the NRA. Politicians respond to the group's pressure out of fear, knowing that their jobs often depend on low-turnout, one-party primaries in which fringe passions are amplified.

In other words, if politicians don't respond to the NRA's bullying, they can kiss their donations good-bye, and some other extremist will win the cash... and the day.

Thank you Supreme Court and Citizens United, for turning campaign finance laws on their heads, for allowing super PACs and billionaires to call the shots and buy our elections, and for giving toxic organizations like the NRA the leeway to exert their influence on election outcomes. The result? More corruption and less democracy.

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Sunday Links

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linksImage:abcnews.go.com

Sunday Links from The Political Carnival

Mitch McConnell’s Musket Stunt Backfires as He Gets Busted For Not Owning A Gun

While Trying to Avoid Prison Michele Bachmann Calls Obama a Threat To America’s Survival

Liz Wahl, unemployed, says quitting RT not 'a self-promotional stunt'

Russia Today Host Abby Martin Goes Spectacularly Off-Message In Ukraine Broadcast (VIDEO)

While America Waits On Keystone Decision, A Different Tar Sands Pipeline Just Got Approved

Missing Malaysian Passenger Plane: Terrorism May Have Downed Flight MH370 Say Officials

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Supreme Court Inflicts Flesh Wound On NRA - Kids And Guns

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kids guns

The Supreme Court took a shot at the NRA and gun rights activists yesterday, but it only winged them,  inflicting a flesh wound -- hardly the kill shot that many of us hoped for.

The case involved a Texas law that prohibited 18-20 year olds from carrying handguns in public. This age limit was being fought by the NRA and gun activists who felt that this rule infringed on teenagers second amendment rights.

In Texas as in most of the country, you can't buy beer, pornography, cigarettes or a lottery ticket if you're under 21. It's for protection and safety. Yet when it comes to guns, that's a whole different story. Using a gun is legal even for a four year old. Yes, that's not a typo. In some states there's absolutely no age limit on using a gun or rifle. Buying one? Guess what? Still no age limit according to our federal government. I repeat, no age limit set by the federal government to operate or buy a gun/rifle. You can actually buy a rifle before you're even strong enough to lift it.

Don't believe me? Watch this video and I'm pretty confident those around you will hear your jaw drop and hit the floor:

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