Archive for weapons

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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As Guns Get Smart NRA Gets Dumb

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smart gun

Ordinarily you'd think that the second amendment (right to bear arms) zealots would be pushing for guns to be sold. Arm everybody, everywhere, anytime. That's an NRA-type thinking. You just can't have enough guns.

So what's making hundreds of gun owners in Maryland send death threats to a gun store owner who wants to sell new guns? And what's got the NRA up in arms over prohibiting the sale of certain weapons? It's something referred to as "smart guns."

Who'd ever think of guns being described as smart? They're killing devices. But here's what's causing the bruhaha.

First, here's a look into the technology:

Now, here's a little factual coverage of the latest NRA and gun zealotry activities of late as reported by the Washington Post:

A Rockville gun store owner who said he would sell the nation’s first smart gun — even after a California gun store removed the weapon from its shelves to placate angry gun-rights activists — backed down late Thursday night after enduring a day of protests and death threats.

Andy Raymond, the co-owner of Engage Armament, a store known for its custom assault rifles, had said earlier this week that offering the Armatix iP1 handgun was a “really tough decision” after what happened to the Oak Tree Gun Club near Los Angeles. Oak Tree was lambasted by gun owners and National Rifle Association members who fear the new technology will be mandated and will encroach on Second Amendment rights.

The way I read it is gun zealots don't want certain guns sold because with knowledge of this technology being readily available, the second amendment nuts might be forced to retro-fit their guns or the weapons will become illegal. But California and Maryland are just the beginning. Gun safety is a major concern for the NRA. Fear of common sense legislation is their biggest enemy. If only the registered owner of a gun could use it, think of how the black market on guns, or kids picking up their parents gun and killing a sibling or pulling of a Sandy Hook or Columbine might be curtailed. The NRA wouldn't want that now, would they?

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Jumping The Gun On Guns Everywhere Law In Georgia

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guns in Georgia

Well, whether or not the police got it right, the fact remains that a civilian in Georgia put a lot of people into a state of fear and anxiety when he brought a gun to a park where little league baseball was being played. He brandished it out of his holster, waved it around, and scared the poop out of most people there.

Little league game

Click on picture above to see the VIDEO.

The police say the gunslinger did nothing illegal. That's actually questionable. First off, the new Georgia "Guns Everywhere" law doesn't go into effect for a few more months. Evidently this dude couldn't wait. And it's still a criminal act of "assault" to put people in fear for their lives, regardless of whether or not a gun holder has a permit to carry.

Free Dictionary:

 Assault is an act that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent, harmful, or offensive contact. The act consists of a threat of harm accompanied by an apparent, present ability to carry out the threat.

Evidently these cops who responded the to many 911 calls of fear and apprehension for their safety, were not scared sufficiently to rise to the level of imminent, harmful or offensive contact. The fright of possibly losing their lives doesn't seem to have risen to that level in the officer's minds. Or maybe they didn't think the gun being brandished rose to the level of being judged as having the ability to carry out the threat. Or even possibly the cops don't understand the definition of the law.

This time the man with the gun didn't shoot, but people reported him. Children were scared. Others sought shelter in the dugouts. Beginning July 1, 2014, when the "Guns Everywhere" bill goes into effect, let's see what happens. The Georgia legislature and the governor don't feel there are any problems. Do you share their confidence?

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Fingerprint Recognition For Guns Saves Lives

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gun safety

gun safety personalization system overview

For a while, about ten years ago, there was a rash of car break-ins where the only thing stolen was the car radio. It was a very easy item for the crooks to fence. The huge numbers of incidents of these thefts rose so high that the car manufacturers and the car radio makers got together to address this problem. And you know what? They did and so successfully that the number of radio thefts dropped precipitously.

Now almost all cars are equipped with radios that have an anti-theft mechanism. If you steal a radio, you need a special code to activate it. Even if your power goes out in your car -- the battery dies -- you need the code to activate it. So a stolen radio won't work and hence you won't be buying too many "hot" music making devices.

Necessity is the mother of all invention, or so the saying goes. And Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) has a new proposal to cut down on accidental and even intentional gun violence.  He plans on introducing new federal gun legislation that would require all firearms manufactured in the U.S. to be equipped with “personalization technology,” so that if a weapon lands in the wrong hands, it can’t be fired.

For the uninitiated, that means all guns must come with fingerprint recognition -- similar to ID codes for radios -- so that they can not be fired except by the licensed, registered owner. It doesn't stop gun sales. It only stops unauthorized use of these weapons.

If the same outcome is true for firearms as for car radios why not do it? Illegally sold firearms won't do a buyer any good if they can't be fired. Hence, less unreported or fenced gun sales.

Markey gave an interview to Boston Magazine:

The Handgun Trigger Safety Act will help ensure that only authorized users can operate handguns. This is the type of gun safety legislation that everyone—regardless of political party or affiliation—should be able to support,” he said.

Now this technology is already available. It's just plain common sense. It's not taking any rights away from legal gun registrants, those with a license -- it actually could prevent them from having their weapons stolen. Safety-safety, win-win.

The technology could include fingerprint recognition, or safety systems like the Armatix iP1, referenced in Markey’s proposal, which relies on a radio-controlled watch that is responsible for gun access and use.

If passed, the law would also require anyone selling a handgun to retrofit their weapon with personalization technology three years after the date of enactment of the bill. 

The technology already exists:

A company called Safe Gun Technology, or SGTi, has been working on a product that could do just that. Relying on biometric technology, people would be unable to fire a weapon unless they were the owner.

If someone is against such a personalization then I suggest they have something to hide. There's not a sane reason that this can't be done. And cost isn't the issue. People always seem to find the money to buy a gun. If this technology is added to that cost, they'll find a way to come up with that extra few bucks just like they do with security locked radios in their cars. It's just part of the cost. If you really need a gun, you'll find the money. Just like when gasoline spikes to nearly $5/gal. We grumble and grouse, maybe cut back on our driving habits, but we don't give up our cars. Well gun owners can do the same. And they'll get over it just like we gas users do.

We make automobile smog testing and attaining a certificate mandatory every two years here in California. It's a cost burden (around $75 including certificate) and inconvenience, but it's for public safety and clean air. How about asking gun owners to be responsible for public safety with their own weapons by not letting unauthorized people pick up their gun and shoot it? Think of all those young kids who discover their parents' weapons and end up shooting a sibling or neighbor kid while they're playing with it? If equipped with fingerprint recognition, those accidents won't become fatalities. They just won't happen at all.

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Finally, A Good & Novel Use For Guns

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HandgunPartsw394h244

The President is going to be delivering his State of the Union Address tonight and most likely he'll avoid any serious mention of the rampant injuries and wanton loss of life that guns and rifles have wreaked daily on this country over the recent past.

From Columbine to Sandy Hook, to the thousands wounded on the streets of Chicago on weekends alone, to mall and campus shootings to domestic disputes....those memories are swept under the carpet by the cowards collectively known as our Congress. They bow before a false God, a deity known as the NRA. Their flock is made up of gun toting zealots shouting over everyone else's rights for a peaceful, safe existance. Their mantra is "Second Amendment Rights." It echos as loudly as "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember the Maine!"

Sadly most of those doing the yelling have never read the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights. But they stand behind what they don't understand and truthfully their vote counts just like every other legal citizen's. At least those legal citizens whom the Republican's haven't knocked off the voter registration logs yet.

We've all seen, heard or read about the the brutal and devastating loss of life that guns can bring. There's really not a lot of good press for these killing instruments. As their sales numbers rise, their basic purpose becomes much more for harm rather than for good-- heightened fear and reckless killing more than putting food on the table or true, personal safety. More people get shot senselessly than wild game gets bagged for actual consumption. Shooting for sport is fine, when the prize isn't other people. 

As reported by Bill Moyers & Company:

Estimated real number of people killed by guns, including homicide, suicide and accidental death since Newtown (using most recent CDC estimates for yearly data): 33,173

Those are just deaths. The number of gun related injuries are tenfold.

Now I step off my anti-gun soapbox to share with you a rather novel use for guns. One which I don't think you've seen before. I know I haven't. Weapons of destruction are used to provide the "cover" rendition of the iconic John Lennon peace song, "Imagine." Yes, music, not death, is the bi-product of these deadly devices. Gun barrels, triggers, butts, muzzles, safeties, sights, action, stocks, trigger guards, magazines and any other part of a shooting mechanism you can think of are put to novel use.

Fellow Political Carnivalites, I proudly share with you some musical peace made entirely from some deadly weapons of destruction:

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"Well Shut My Mouth," Scott Brown Is Told In New Hampshire

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Ethan Allen

Well, well, well. Looks like former Senator Scott Brown, defeated by Senator Elizabeth Warren in the last Senate elections in Massachusetts has been stirring up quite a controversy in neighboring state, New Hampshire.

Scott Brown, a Massachusetts resident is about to go carpet bagger. He's planning on running for the US Senate but from the Granite State just north of his legal residence.

People move all the time. Some even do it for political reasons, say, Liz Cheney. There's an election for the senate in Wyoming so she decided to carpet bag herself there to run against Mike Enzi. She doesn't stand a chance, but she needed some place to run and her family does have some tangential connection to the state. Her father was a congressman there before he became Vice President and creator of an illegal war. So perhaps an argument can me made for her choice.

But then you get to Scott Brown. He was once the darling of the Senate, a GOP newbie who had star written all over him, until he opened his mouth and Elizabeth Warren slammed it shut. But you can't keep a determined ex-centerfold nude model down for too long. So he's openly stated his interest in running as the GOP candidate against first-term Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). He's going to do it, take my word for it. And if you want to know my record at predictions like this, I called both Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren's runs six months before they each announced. I'm a New England boy, I know these things in my backyard.

You may be wondering how well the Republican golden boy's future announcement is going over? Not well. Not well at all. But the outspoken opponents are not the Democrats who think he's border jumping just to upset the apple cart. Brown's opposition is coming from his own party. And they're mad.

How mad? If I were Scott Brown I'd start wearing a bullet proof, Kevlar vest.

Huffpo reports:

During an interview with conservative podcast Granite Grok's GrokTalk on Saturday, New Hampshire state Rep. J.R. Hoell (R-Merrimack)suggested that it may some day be necessary to use "firearms and ammo" against the government if its policies continue to be shaped by elected officials like former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).

Yikes, that's pretty scary. There's already too much gun violence, so to start putting out hints that guns and ammo might be necessary is outrageous.

Hoell was discussing plans to protest outside a state GOP fundraiser that is scheduled to feature Brown, who is rumored to be considering a run for one of New Hampshire's U.S. Senate seats. Hoell has characterized Brown as too liberal for the state, and accused him of supporting laws that encroach on the Second Amendment. Hoell then invoked the armed uprisings of the Revolutionary War.

Progressive thinking in New Hampshire does go back to the Revolutionary War and Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys. And sadly, that's the last time they had any sort of solid footing alongside contemporary thought or forward thinking. It's been a march backward in time since then.

When asked whether protesters should bring weapons to the rally, Hoell responds: I'm never going to tell a person not to carry a firearm ... I will recommend people carry firearms concealed. Tactically it's a better solution; it doesn't make you out to be a target.

The message needs to get out that Scott Brown does not represent New Hampshire. If things continue the way they are, there may be a day or a time where firearms and ammo are necessary. It happened in the Revolutionary War. I'd like to think we're not there yet, but as things continue to unravel, that may be the next step.

Protestors. Guns. Ammo. Concealed weapons. Targets. Revolutionary War. Firearms. Tactics. New Hampshire. Next step. Does this sound like peaceful discourse to you or a trip back down Memory Lane to 1776?

You can follow me on twitter: @Linzack

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Cartoons of the Day- Amazon's Delivery Drones

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deldrone3

Randy Bish

deldrone

Steve Sack

deldrone1

Nate Beeler

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