Archive for universal background checks

Cliff Notes: 9-year-old kills instructor by mistake; NRA pisses off wrong nerd genius


cliff schecter on Today show 9-year-old girl shoots instructor

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. Below are a few excerpts from his latest, with permission. Please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here.

Kudos are in order; Cliff's been showing up all over MSNBC and NBC these days, because they know how good he is at what he does. The above clip is from the Today show, and below is last night's appearance on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. The videos and excerpts focus on the horrific accidental killing of a shooting range instructor by a 9-year-old girl, as well as Bill Gates' million dollar donation for universal background checks:

Here is Cliff pointing out the impact that Bill Gates could have with his support of popular, common sense gun laws. Please link over for the entire post:  

Gates has the ability to grab headlines and make an issue go viral with the constant media coverage he receives, and the financial ability, if he wins, to fund similar efforts around the country. His involvement could be the answer to the public health crisis that makes American children 93 percent of those murdered in the 26 high-income countries around the world.

Meanwhile, the NRA has…Chuck Norris, doing its “Trigger The Vote” Campaign. [...]

Who knows, with that kind of dough, maybe even measures that “only” enjoy 56 percent support like bans on assault weapons and/or high-capacity magazines could pass via direct voting by uncorrupted American citizens. Or perhaps state legislators and members of Congress who bend easily to the will of these Lords of War could be swapped out for those who live in a closer neighborhood to the best interests of the American populace.

Likely the NRA will try to do to Gates what it has attempted to do to Bloomberg for a few years now, and seek to make this fight about him and not its right-wing radicalism in the service of avarice. He’s a billionaire trying to influence our political process, after all, unlike Manhattan resident David Koch, who along with his brother Charles has polluted our political process to no end, including funding the NRA.

Sure, in an ideal world big money wouldn’t play such an outsize role in our elections, such as this hugely important ballot initiative in Washington state. But that’s not what the NRA wants. It just wants its big money still to be all that decides the outcome, and it isn’t. Which is why Wayne LaPierre’s having a bad day.

Please read the entire post at The Daily Beast, here.


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