Archive for Wayne LaPierre

"Gun advocates think they know how any scenario involving guns will play out. They don't."

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In one of the following letters, the author refers to "gun advocates." I prefer the terms gun fondlers, gun zealots, and gun fetishists, but what do I know, right? She makes a great point, as do the others in today's Los Angles Times letters to the editor.

Take a look at these and at the video below, because our voices matter:

Near the end of your article on the Las Vegas shootings, you mention Joseph Robert Wilcox, who pulled out a concealed weapon and confronted Jerad Miller at the Wal-Mart.

As I read this part of the article, I wondered what gun advocates who promote the fallacy that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun would say about that. Wilcox may have believed this idea and might have wanted to be a hero, but now he is dead after having been shot by a bad guy.

Gun advocates think they know how any scenario involving guns will play out. They don't.

Unfortunately, this part of the story will not even be part of the conversation. It is to our country's detriment that it won't be.

Nancy Zaman, Los Angeles

***

The politicians' angry cries against the release of five Guantanamo Bay detainees are loud. What of the American terrorists who routinely slaughter children, police officers and innocent civilians?

Those politicians refuse to defy their sponsor, the National Rifle Assn., and show little care for American lives.

Ruth Palanker, Los Angeles

***

Isn't it about time that we just stand up to the defenders of an amendment written more than 200 years ago and say it just doesn't apply anymore? Isn't it time for the cowards in Washington to quit protecting the NRA and start protecting the rest of us?

It's time we closed the gun shops and the gun shows and started restricting and shutting down the manufacturers of these weapons.

And yes, it is a mental health issue. It's about the absolute insanity of the people who think that owning a gun somehow makes you more of an American.

Collect the guns and get these nuts off the street before more of our children die.

Lee Cohen, Glendale

Now take a look at our own Cliff Schecter making the case against violence on The Last Word. As always, he knocked it out of the park:

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Student killed. Just "another week in the United States of the NRA."

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oregon shooting student killed v CNN gunsPhoto via CNN

While I was on air with Nicole Sandler today, this terrible news broke: Student killed, shooter also dead, at Oregon high school. Shortly after that, I received a press release from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, in part (emphasis mine):

"We hear our representatives calling for prayers, but today, we call on responsible gun owners, mothers, fathers, and all concerned citizens to call on our elected officials to pass reasonable reforms that will prevent gun violence. Will we have to wait until there is an active shooter at every school in America before our lawmakers act?" said Sarah Finger McDonald, Oregon Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "Today’s shooting was the 74th since Newtown. Our children and teachers should be learning and teaching in schools—not on lock down, cowering under desks, and evacuated from school with their hands raised in the air.”

Here at TPC, we can barely keep up with the epidemic of NRA-sponsored carnage, but we've tried:

These stories make a few things very clear. For example, in one case, no gun was needed to tackle a shooter and disarm him. In another case, a "good guy with a gun" was killed by "a bad guy with a gun." So much for that right wing gun-fondler talking point.

Referring to Second Amendmenters as "good guys," framing it in such unrealistic, black-and-white terms, is misleading at best. This isn't a 1950s Roy Rogers movie, it's real life. And right now, reality sucks.

Our own Cliff Schecter was on the Ronan Farrow show today recapping the series of horrific events. He spoke with his usual brilliantly blunt eloquence:

Cliff was asked on because of the latest "student killed" headline. And because that "student killed" headline has become so damned commonplace. What has this country become? As Cliff said, it's not the same place in which he grew up. Ditto.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

With more states allowing citizens to openly carry weapons into stores, libraries and churches; with the National Rifle Assn. convincing others that the best antidote to gun violence is more guns; and with people entertaining themselves watching movies and TV shows full of gratuitous violence, do we really need to ask, "What precipitated this event?"

Just look in the mirror.

Matt Giorgi

Brea

***

Dateline, Mission Viejo: A son kills his father, mother, sister and himself with a gun.

Dateline, Atlanta: A gunman trying to charge into a courthouse with an assault rifle and grenades is subdued after a gun battle with police.

Dateline, Seattle: A gunman kills one person before being subdued.

Dateline, Las Vegas: Two police officers are assassinated by two shooters who also kill a shopper and themselves.

Another week in the United States of the NRA, where that phrase "not one more" is just another bumper sticker.

So, folks, enjoy your next trip to the mall or sending your kids off to school. What could possibly go wrong?

Frank Ferrone

El Cajon

***

Two armed individuals walk into a restaurant carrying loaded weapons because they are exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.

Two armed individuals walk into a restaurant and kill two police officers.

Question: How does anyone know which two individuals just walked in until they start firing?

Terry Sternberg

Woodland Hills

And to drive home a few very serious points, here is a tongue-in-cheek video courtesy of CollegeHumor's Favorite Funny Videos:

H/t: The wonderful Gaius Publius of AMERICAblog

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Are Wayne LaPierre And The NRA Responsible For One Of The Las Vegas Killings?

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Las Vegas

A tragic, mindless random shooting took place this past weekend in Las Vegas by two very disturbed rightwing nuts, Jerad Miller and his wife, Amanda,. These two fringe "sovereign citizen" types, fond of the 2nd Amendment in the loosest of interpretations, walked into a restaurant, point blank killed two Las Vegas Metropolitican cops who were just eating lunch, then continued on their crazy spree across the street. Their destination? Walmart. Of course Walmart. Where else do you go when you want to show you're just part of the normal world? While they were stocking up on free weapons and munitions, they had fired warning shots into the ceiling and yelled for everyone in the store to get out. I guess these two had a compassionate streak in them after all.

According to NBC News:

“They just said, ‘The revolution’s begun,’ they said that they shot some officers, and basically get out of the store if you don’t want to get hurt,” said Tyrone Ellis, who works at the store.

Now here's where the NRA comes in. Over and over again spokesperson and NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has expounded his organizations mantra after random mass shootings like Columbine, and Sandy Hook, and even the recent Isla Vista massacres. Mindless as it is: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." 

Would someone please explain that to the family of the third victim of this Las Vegas madness, Joseph Wilcox.

A shopper, Joseph Robert Wilcox [good guy], 31, of Las Vegas had a concealed weapon and decided to confront Jerad Miller, police said. As he walked toward the suspect [bad guy], Amanda Miller [another bad guy] came up behind him and shot him several times in the ribs, police said.

Wilcox is dead. He listened to the insipid ramblings of the NRA's LaPierre and now he's deceased. He is now a dead good guy with a gun. All because he actually believed the NRA's claptrap defense of their truly indefensible stand. His death was most likely avoidable. But instead of following directions, he took the NRA for their word. And now he's gone. I wonder if Wayne LaPierre will be speaking as Wilcox's memorial.

This tragedy points out once again, just like time and time before, that gun control is something that needs to be addressed. And it also points out that carrying a gun doesn't make you any safer than not being armed. All of those people who escaped uninjured from the Walmart can attest to that.

We need fewer pistol-packing heroes and more gun sanity and regulations. Sorry NRA. But the 2nd Amendment was never intended to give everyone the ability to pack heat just to make us feel "manly." It was to allow us to defend ourselves as part of a well regulated militia.

Also recently, about a week ago, there was the random Seattle Pacific University shooting where the assailant had killed three people. But because he didn't have a larger clip, he had to stop to reload. Here's how that worked out, according to Truth About Guns:

The gunman walked into the Otto Miller Building just after 3 p.m. and shot three people, said Capt. Chris Fowler with Seattle police. The gunman then began reloading when a student building monitor pepper-sprayed the shooter.

“The shooter began to reload his shotgun and the student building monitor inside the hall confronted the shooter and was able to subdue the individual,” Fowler said. “Once on the ground, other students jumped on top of them and they were able to pin the shooter to the ground until police arrived.”

Regulation, not good guys with guns saved lives. Let's have background checks. Let's have limited ammo clips. Let's stop avoiding the issues. Gun control can be done if the cowards in Congress will grow a backbone. It's been achieved in the past. Let's hope it's done again soon, before so many more must needlessly die to appease the wishes of the few over the hopes and prayers of the many.

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Cliff Notes: "This is a disease, one that the NRA’s leadership is helping to spread"

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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. Here are a few excerpts from his latest at The Daily Beast, with permission. Please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here. It's about the utter insanity and carnage attributed to the NRA and their gun-fondling devotees who are blissfully spreading a deadly Gun Disease all over America.

These bits and pieces don't do it justice. Please, link over for the entire post titled "From Las Vegas to Georgia, the NRA Has Created a Monster":

It’s been quite a month for the National Rifle Association: Massacres at universities, in restaurants, and at retail stores from South Carolina to Las Vegas. Gun nuts porting assault weapons to dinner from Chili’s to Chipotle. The leaders of the take-no-prisoners gun-rights organization have been witness to the logical outgrowth of its policies and rhetoric. Much as the GOP helped create the lunatic-fringe Tea Party within its midst, the NRA chieftains have helped birth a beast whose black heart now beats strongly among its most radical adherents. [...]

The result: They’ve watched impotently as this witch’s brew of mental illness, far-right politics, propaganda, and heavy weaponry has led to one shocking—yet wholly predictable—massacre after another, with the most recent targets including the execution-style murders of two lunching police officers in Las Vegas. [Laffy Note: See Sher's White Supremacy and the Bundy Tea Party Terrorize the Vegas Strip] [...]

Just over the past few weeks, we’ve seen mass murders in Isla Vista, Seattle, Myrtle Beach, and Las Vegas. A catastrophe was barely averted at a courthouse in Georgia—you know, the place that in its infinite wisdom chose to pass its “guns anywhere” bill, because clearly if there was something daycare centers and airports were lacking, it was guns.

Somehow this didn’t stop this self-styled “sovereign citizen.”  [...]

But this is America, the NRA leadership’s version, where a man in this mental state was a gun seller and trader (remember how Timothy McVeigh was a gun seller at gun shows?), who got mad because he had—what else?—outstanding firearms charges against him. So yeah, why not kill the authorities and everyone else you can in a blaze of glory? We make it so easy, after all. [...]

In Las Vegas, two shooters, a man and a woman... left a swastika and “Don’t Tread on Me” flag on one of the murdered cops’ bodies... Did I mention the man had lived on Cliven Bundy’s ranch for a bit (and was kicked off… one wonders what it took for that to happen)? [...]

This is a disease, one that the NRA’s leadership is helping to spread. [...]

Put simply, the NRA’s leaders have demonized anyone whose job it is to enforce our laws and protect the United States in its pamphlets, emails, speeches, TV ads, Web shows, radio programming, and anywhere else they can unleash this cancer on the American public. So is it then shocking when their more unstable allies and adherents use the same language when planning or executing the mass killing of policemen, judges or other government officials?

If Wayne LaPierre were instead named Wayne Mohammed, do you think we’d still be hearing from him? Or would he be in a black site in Romania somewhere? [...]

If we want to change things, it starts with not sugar-coating or ignoring the treasonous and murderous role played by the leaders of the NRA, but by acknowledging it and taking them on every day.

Cliff Schecter is a bestselling author, syndicated columnist, and political strategist. He consults for the gun-safety group the National Gun Victims Action Council. 

Follow him on Twitter: @CliffSchecter

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Will Tea Party Learn From Pakistani Taliban?

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Faz & MalalaFazlullah           Malala

Oh those Taliban rebels. They've really got their sh** together. They're not like our domestic terrorists, the Tea Party.  In Pakistan, when they have a leadership position to fill, they don't waste time. When they lose a commander, they've got a better one to step right into his burqa. I hope our Taliban work as quickly in the Commonwealth to replace "the Cooch."  We wouldn't want to see the south regions of Virginia to go too long without an extremist to look up to.

TPM:

The former head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Friday just as he was entering his compound in a village in North Waziristan. Even though Mehsud was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Pakistani civilians and security forces, his death outraged Pakistani officials, who accused the U.S. of sabotaging the government's attempt to strike a peace deal with the militants.

Don't be harsh with the Paki's mourning the loss of a mass murder. Lord knows thousands show up in support of our mass murders, people like Rick 'the executioner' Perry and Wayne 'I can put a gun in your hands' LaPierre. They've directly or indirectly killed many.

The new leader, Fazlullah [one name, like Cher or Elvis], has served as the Pakistani Taliban's leader in the northwest Swat Valley but is believed to be hiding in neighboring Afghanistan.

He rose to prominence through radio broadcasts demanding the imposition of a harsh brand of Islam, earning him the nickname "Mullah Radio."

A couple of things come to mind in these paragraphs. First, his gerrymandered district is called Swat Valley. How appropriate for a man who uses sniper fire to take down innocent farmers, women and children.

Secondly he's going to be a modern day leader. He's going to telecommute. He rapes and pillages in his native Pakistan while hiding in Afghanistan. Some guys have all the luck. They can destroy innocent lives without ever having to leave their man cave.

And finally, this guy is issuing his orders over the radio? So he's kind of a Disc Jockey of Death. When he plays the hits, he means the hits -- killings and assassinations. Oh, that Mullah Radio. I wonder if he does a Sunday countdown show like Kasey Kasem. Maybe if Mullah Radio does, he calls his show, "Shooting Down The Oldies."

Now  the choice of Fazlullah might seem odd or unusual to you. He, like Ted Cruz rose from obscurity to reek harm and pain on women and children. For Rafael Cruz, it was his ascendancy to the Senate and his attack on Obamacare. For Fazlullah, the Pakistani Taliban soldier is the one who planned the attack on teenage activist Malala Yousafzai. Yes, Malala,  that young 15 year old girl who was a finalist for this years Nobel Peace Prize. Her crime, as we all know that was worthy of ordering her shot. How dare she incite young girls to go to school and become educated. If that's not a justifiable capital offense, I can't imagine what is. Way to go Faz.

With those kind of bona fides, it's no wonder that:

The shura chose Fazlullah as the new leader unanimously, Torashipa said.

Some Mehsud commanders were unhappy with the decision but eventually agreed under pressure from some of the group's senior militants, said the intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to journalists.

Now if you need help with understanding what's between the lines above, the shura is the ruling committee and unanimously means at gunpoint. Now the commanders that were unhappy are no longer feeling that way. They're no longer feeling at all. They've been publicly stoned to death. This news also comes from the Taliban press official who isn't really authorized to talk to journalists.

Sadly he's not giving out much news anymore as Faz had his tongue ripped out for his previous news release. I'm sure details will be shared with all of us Sunday as Master Faz and his AK-47's spin "Shootin' Down The Oldies."

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Video- NRA’s Wayne LaPierre on Navy Yard Shooting: ‘There Weren’t Enough Good Guys With Guns’

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Wow. Should have asked him how many guns he recommend the Navy Yard should have had. Via.

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How The Worst Moments of the NRA’s 2013 Annual Meeting Showed the Organization’s Ugly History Repeating Itself

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nra convention wayne la pierre guns

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.

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