Archive for universal background checks

Universal background check supporters boycott Hallmark


hallmark life is a special occasion

Dear Hallmark: Universal background checks for gun sales could have prevented mass killings. Massacres can also be cut short when a shooter runs out of bullets and has to reload. That's why there's a call for a ban on large capacity magazines in favor of those that hold fewer bullets. Of course, for some unfathomable reason, there is resistance to forcing shooters to stop and reload more often. However, most Americans do agree on mandatory background checks. They can weed out potential gun owners who have a history of violence and mental instability, criminal pasts, or a history of domestic violence. People with obviously severe problems like those should not be able to acquire a gun.

You would think "pro-lifers" would be in favor of saving lives, now wouldn't you? You'd think anyone would. Background checks would be the simplest way to achieve that. In fact, 90% of the American public favors them.


"But, incredibly, Hallmark does not support Universal Background Checks-- or any background checks-- for gun sales. That is why a complete Hallmark boycott is being called for by the National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) and the Newtown Victims and Clergy for Corporate Responsibility (NVCCR)," said Elliot Fineman, CEO of (NGVAC). [...]

"Until Hallmark gets off the sideline and supports Universal Background Checks (which NGVAC studies show will minimally save 2,000 lives per year) and commits to work for their passage our boycott will continue," said Fineman.

If protecting the Stay family and America's families is not reason enough for Hallmark to act, then it is reason enough for the over 90% of Americans that want Universal Background Checks to not buy any Hallmark products or to support any of the Hallmark Channel sponsors.

Here's what Hallmark's Chairman Donald Hall, Jr. said in response: "We do not get involved in divisive issues."

Psst! Mr. Hall, Jr... mowing down groups of people, murdering children, slaughtering teachers and theater-goers, destroying families, that's pretty divisive, don'tcha think? Death divides family members. Preventing death, maiming, and more devastation should be our goal.

Sadly, death also bring people together, but for the wrong reason. Just ask America, post-Sandy Hook:

More at the link.


VIDEO: "NRA leadership are the ONLY ones against gun background checks. Which means -- they win?"


question o the day smaller

guns chart backround checks universal support

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Yesterday I posted "Contrary to rhetoric, gun-free zones are not the problem." Oh, and gun retailers support background checks.

Looks like Rachel Maddow read the same data that I did, and then did her Rachel thing and posed all the right questions:

What we knew before this survey is that the idea of expanding background checks for buying guns is something that is supported by Democrats, by very large margin.

It's also supported by independents by a big margin.

Expanding background checks also supported by Republicans by a large margin.

Self-described tea partiers also support expanded background checks.

Expanded background checks are supported by members of the NRA. People who pay to belong to the National Rifle Association want expanded background checks.

Gun owners broadly also support expanded background checks by a big margin.

And now, we can add the data from this brand new stuff that's just being published by the researchers from UC Davis. It also turns out that gun dealers support expanded background checks.

The people who are actually conceivably burdened by this the most! Democrats are in favor, independents are in favor. Republicans are in favor. Tea partiers, NRA members, gun owners and now we know gun dealers all in favor.

And on the other side, not in favor: the leadership of the NRA. Not even the members of the NRA, just the leadership. They're the only ones against. Which means -- they win?

Nothing could ever outweigh them? They get whatever they want, no matter if everyone in the country including their own constituency disagrees with them? How long does this last for?


If media could quickly uncover information about #NavyYard shooter, an in-depth background check would have also


Stop Handgun Violence sign Massachusetts gun shows background checks

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

Re "Gun laws for mentally ill not so easy," Sept. 22

The instant background check on Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis is no replacement for an in-depth universal background check. If the media were able so quickly to uncover information about Alexis' troubled history, an in-depth background check would have also.

Gun advocates use the fact that the shooter purchased his gun legally with a background check to show that additional laws would be ineffective. In fact, the instant, inadequate background check that Alexis passed is a result of the gun lobby's efforts to limit gun restrictions.

William J. Chartier

Los Angeles


Guns make us safe. I feel safe here in America. I feel sorry for the Europeans, who live on a continent overrun by hordes of unarmed people.

The proper use of guns keeps the death rate from disease down. Guns should be part of every nation's health plan.

Guns are good.

Barry Carlton

El Cajon


Killer had illegal assault rifle, 40 high-capacity magazines, sprayed 100 bullets, had access to 1300. "And, oh yes, he was a mental case."


Stop Handgun Violence sign Massachusetts gun shows background checks

Please read all of George Skelton's column in the Los Angeles Times. Skelton has covered government and politics for The Times since 1974, and in his latest piece, he wrote about his suggestion to lawmakers that they close the bullet-buying loophole. He bases his premise on the recent Santa Monica murders (in which the shooter got around California's ban on assault weapons by acquiring parts and assembling his own rifle).

Apparently L.A. Times readers disagree with both Skelton and myself:

poll bullets background check

Here are a few pertinent excerpts from the column:

From what I've been reading, the Santa Monica killer was packing an illegal assault rifle and 40 high-capacity ammunition magazines. He sprayed 100 bullets and had access to 1,300.

And, oh yes, he was a mental case. [...]

And his stockpile of 1,300 rounds of ammo is evidence that background checks are needed for bullet buyers. Guns don't kill people. Bullets do. [...]

[Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles)] asserted during the Senate debate, "You can walk out of San Quentin Prison … walk into a Big 5, any mom and pop, bait and tackle store, in fact you can back up a U-Haul truck, and you can load up all the ammunition you want. No questions asked." [...]

Responded Republican Sen. Stephen Knight of Palmdale: "It's not the magazines. These people have problems. They're crazy. You can't stop crazy people from doing crazy things."

Maybe not. But you can stop them from being armed for bear — or, more specifically, for the mass slaughter of truly innocent people. [...]

[Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento)]: "...The gun manufacturers have found every single loophole possible" to get around it. Such as selling parts so killers like Zawahri can customize their own weapons.

He goes on to explain that a nationwide ban would be, um, helpful, because anyone can buy banned firearms from private sellers at gun shows in nearby states and then move them across state borders with no pesky background checks to get in their way.

L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck said, "There's nothing that's an absolute solution. But if you put enough controls in place, that makes it less and less likely there will be gun violence."

And as Skelton put it, that might "slightly inconvenience gun owners. But their convenience is trumped by saving lives."

Tell that to all those gun-totin' "pro-lifers."


Inmate at federal prison: "A heartfelt thank you to the NRA & all those members of Congress voting with them."


thank you written

Here's a little something for gun zealots to chew on from a felon who is currently residing in a federal supermax prison in Colorado for bank robbery and weapons charges.

Oh, but he's a very polite bank robber. He sat down and wrote a lovely letter to the Hartford Courant expressing his heartfelt thanks to the NRA for killing the background checks expansion bill. He gushes about how it would now be easy as pie to pick up a weapon at a gun show. He's not legally allowed to do that, of course, but that won't stop him once he's out of prison.

See, he doesn't have to worry himself with pesky little things like background checks since there are so many loopholes left open to him and his fellow criminals to walk through.

What would we all do without the NRA and their BFFs who offer so many people just like Mr. Inmate the freedom and opportunity to so easily obtain killing machines?

Aren't they the best? USA! USA!

Via Think Progress:

During his last conviction, Bornman [the inmate] wrote another editorial denigrating the prison system’s refusal to give him mental health care, despite his multiple pleas for therapy. Bornman warned, “In all probability I’ll commit murder, perhaps even mass murder.”

Here is his Very Special Thank You Note...

Dear Everyone:

As a lifelong career criminal, although I no longer enjoy the right to keep and bear arms, I'd like to take a moment to express my appreciation to the National Rifle Association for nonetheless protecting my ability to easily obtain them through its opposition to universal background checks. [...]

I fully anticipate being able to stop at a gun show on my way home to Connecticut -- where new laws have made it nearly impossible for a felon to readily purchase guns or ammunition -- in order to buy some with which to resume my criminal activities.

And so, a heartfelt thank you to the NRA and all those members of Congress voting with them. I, along with tens of thousands of other criminals, couldn't do what we do without you.


One of the Snarkier Bad Guys

i owe you one


"Everyone is wondering where [the shooter] got the money for the weapons." (semiautomatic assault rifle, 20 magazines, .44-caliber revolver, 1300 rounds of ammo)


guns tweet santa monica shooting


nra check cartoon guns

As is happening with some regularity now, yesterday I had to write up yet another post on yet another shooting by yet another young, mentally ill man with yet another Ar-15 assault style weapon: Another day, another shooter with “mental health issues” killing several people with an “AR-15 style” semiautomatic rifle.

What a horrifically redundant storyline this is becoming.

I ended my post with this:

But background checks are a bad idea, right gun zealots? They cut into your Second Amendment rights, say you. The dead shooting victims and their families might say that assault style weapons cut into our rights to live and breathe, and that they should be banned.

They might also say that those who claim to be “pro-life” may want to rethink their choice of words.

Today I picked up my Los Angeles Times only to find a few more familiar, disturbing details:

A close friend of the family, who asked not to be identified, said that Zawahri struggled with mental health problems. "John had a fascination with guns," said the friend. "We were all worried about it."

The friend said Zawahri didn't have a job and that "everyone is wondering where he got the money for the weapons." [...]

After police carried him outside, he died on the sidewalk. He'd entered the campus armed not only with the semiautomatic assault rifle, but with a large bag that contained up to 20 magazines, and a .44-caliber revolver.

Seabrooks said Zawahri had brought up to 1,300 rounds of ammunition with him.

And just now this came my way, again from the Times:

Death toll rises as fifth victim dies.

Marcela Franco was 26.

Here are a few tweets responding to the news:

 @gottalaff @maddogg2463 @cnn @andersoncooper my 8yr old neighbor and 3rd grade class was at college Friday. Traumatized after lock down.

Leave it to my pal Jon to pop in with a darkly poignant punchline.


Another day, another shooter with "mental health issues" killing several people with an "AR-15 style" semiautomatic rifle


right to life my ass pro life

Yesterday there was another shooting spree, this time in Santa Monica, California, a lovely city by the sea about 45 minutes from where I live. It's also a couple of blocks from where one friend of mine, a young mother, lives, and only one block from another friend's house. And President Obama was attending a Democratic fundraiser just a few blocks away.

Six degrees...

Here are a few disturbingly familiar details.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

The FBI joined local authorities on Saturday in seeking to determine a motive for a gunman's rampage that killed four people in Santa Monica. [...]

Authorities said detectives were trying to look into the background of the alleged gunman as well as his family. They also want to know how he got the semiautomatic rifle he used. [...]

Before getting into the passenger's seat next to Sisk, witnesses said, the gunman fired several shots aimlessly around the neighborhood with what authorities later said was an "AR-15 style" semiautomatic rifle.

Via a CNN email alert that just came in:

The man police say went on a shooting rampage Friday in California had suffered mental health issues, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

A couple of years ago, he was hospitalized for treatment after allegedly talking about harming someone, according to the official.

The gunman's rampage began at a home in Santa Monica, leaving two dead inside. He carjacked a woman and fired at a public bus.

It all ended when police shot him dead at Santa Monica College as students studied for finals, a mile from the house.

But background checks are a bad idea, right gun zealots? They cut into your Second Amendment rights, say you. The dead shooting victims and their families might say that assault style weapons cut into our rights to live and breathe, and that they should be banned.

They might also say that those who claim to be "pro-life" may want to rethink their choice of words.