Archive for the ‘gun policy’ Category

images-125Gun control advocates AND opponents – please watch this short clip.  And, those of you who are against background checks and other common-sense strategies – please share your arguments with us again.  I’m just not getting it.


John Oliver goes to Australia to confront the charlatans claiming to have effectively regulated guns, then quickly discovers that maybe some of the arguments from American anti-gun-control groups are flawed. All the arguments, to be more specific.

HINT:  Australia had almost one gun massacre per year until they instituted gun laws.  Since then they’ve had…wait for it…zero.  But wait, there’s more:  Homocide by gun has decreased significantly, as well.  So has suicide.  And I’m pretty sure 5-year olds aren’t shooting their baby siblings.  

Click HERE for part 2

Wayne LaPierre

Click HERE


let’s not rehire these guys

Posted: April 17, 2013 in gun policy, politics



628x471In this image made from video, Nelson City Council Member Duane Cronic discusses mandatory gun ownership after the city council voted to adopt it for all heads-of-household, Monday, April 1, 2013. Council members in Nelson, a city of about 1,300 residents that’s located 50 miles north of Atlanta, voted unanimously to approve the Family Protection Ordinance. The measure requires every head of household to own a gun and ammunition to “provide for the emergency management of the city” and to “provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.”

NELSON, Ga. (AP) — Backers of a newly adopted ordinance requiring gun ownership in a small north Georgia town acknowledge they were largely seeking to make a point about gun rights.

The ordinance in the city of Nelson — population 1,300 — was approved Monday night and goesimages-86 into effect in 10 days. However, it contains no penalties and exempts anyone who objects, convicted felons and those with certain mental and physical disabilities.

City Councilman Duane Cronic, who sponsored the measure, said he knows the ordinance won’t be enforced but he still believes it will make the town safer.

“I likened it to a security sign that people put up in their front yards. Some people have security systems, some people don’t, but they put those signs up,” he said. “I really felt like this ordinance was a security sign for our city.”

Another purpose, according to the city council’s agenda, is “opposition of any future attempt by the federal government to confiscate personal firearms.”

Council members in Nelson, a small city located 50 miles north of Atlanta, voted unanimously to approve the Family Protection Ordinance. The measure requires every head of household to own a gun and ammunition to “provide for the emergency management of the city” and to “provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.”

images-87Nelson resident Lamar Kellett was one of five people who spoke during a public comment period Monday night and one of two who opposed the ordinance. Among his many objections, he said it dilutes the city’s laws to pass measures that aren’t intended to be enforced.

“Does this mean now 55 miles an hour speed limit means 65, 80, whatever you choose? There’s not a whole lot of difference. A law’s a law,” he said.

Kellett also said the ordinance will have no effect, that it won’t encourage people like him who don’t want a gun to go out and buy one.

The proposal illustrates how the response to the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., varies widely in different parts of the country.

While lawmakers in generally more liberal states with large urban centers like New York and California have moved to tighten gun control laws, more conservative, rural areas in the American heartland have been going in the opposite direction.

Among the other efforts to broaden gun rights that have surfaced since the Newtown killings:

— Earlier Monday, lawmakers in Oklahoma scuttled a bill that would have allowed public school districts to decide whether to let teachers be armed.

— Spring City, Utah, passed an ordinance this year recommending that residents keep firearms, softening an initial proposal that aimed to require it.

— Residents of tiny Byron, Maine, rejected a proposal last month that would have required a gun in every home. Even some who initially supported the measure said it should have recommended gun ownership instead of requiring it, and worried that the proposal had made the community a laughingstock. Selectmen of another Maine town, Sabbatus, threw out a similar measure. The state’s attorney general said state law prevents municipalities from passing their own firearms laws anyway.

— Lawmakers in about two dozen states have considered making it easier for school employees or volunteers to carry guns on campus. South Dakota passed such a measure last month. Individual communities from New Jersey to Colorado have voted to allow administrators or teachers to carry guns in school.

Located in the Appalachian foothills, Nelson is a tiny, hilly town with narrow, twisting roads. It’s a place where most people know one another and leave their doors unlocked.

It used to be a major source of marble, with the local marble company employing many in town. But that industry is mostly gone now, Mayor Mike Haviland said. There are no retail stores in town anymore, and just about everyone leaves town for work now, making it a bedroom community for Atlanta, he said.

The mayor said he never dreamed his small city would be the focus of national and international media attention, but he understands it.

“It bumps up against the national issues on guns,” he said.

Police Chief Heath Mitchell noted that the city doesn’t have police officers who work 24 hours a day and is far from the two sheriff’s offices that might send deputies in case of trouble, so response times to emergency calls can be long. Having a gun would help residents take their protection into their own hands, he said.

But the chief — the town’s sole police officer — acknowledged the crime rate is very low. He mostly sees minor property thefts and a burglary every few months. The most recent homicide was more than five years ago, he said.

The ordinance is modeled after a similar one adopted in 1982 by Kennesaw, an Atlanta suburb. City officials there worried at the time that growth in Atlanta might bring crime to the community, which now has about 30,000 residents. Kennesaw police have acknowledged that their ordinance is difficult to enforce, and they haven’t made any attempt to do so.

Leroy Blackwell, 82, has lived in Nelson for about 50 years and owns a hunting rifle he keeps in a closet. He said before the council’s decision that he would support the ordinance even if it didn’t have exemptions, but he would have preferred it to be voluntary.

“Really, I think it would be more fair to put it to a vote” so everybody could have a say, he said.

Some fun facts:
  • 61% of Americans believe that it’s important to take vacations.
  • 71% of Americans like chocolate.
  • 63% of Americans have a favorable view of capitalism.
  • 73% of Americans bathe or shower daily.
  • 83% of men in their 20’s masturbate.

Republican_GunsOverPeople91% of Americans are in favor of a comprehensive background check policy for purchasing guns.

Did you catch that? Ninety-one percent. Really, 91% of American’s don’t agree on anything. But when it comes to background checks? It’s a no brainer. In fact, the majority of gun owners favor background checks. Hell, the majority of NRA members favor background checks!

Background checks are more popular than vacations, chocolate, capitalism, daily personal hygiene and solo sex. In fact, background checks are more popular than Congress isn’t popular. (Last week, Congress’s disapproval rating hit a near-record high of 87%.)

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a universal background check bill to present to Congress. Guess how many Republicans on that committee voted for it? Zero. That’s right – none. Nada. 91% of Americans support this thing…but the Republicans who have been elected to represent those people? No way.

A little background: It is already illegal for certain people to buy guns. If you’ve been convicted of domestic violence, in fact if you’re a convicted criminal of any flavor, if you’re extremely mentally ill, if you’re a fugitive, if you’re a drug addict, you can’t buy a gun. But no worries! All you need to do is find a way to avoid a background a check. And guess what? It’s super easy! Right now you only have to go to a gun show, or respond to a print ad.

398945_483797145001183_111642883_nCan I remind you why this matters? The horrific mass murder at a movie theater in Colorado last July, another at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August, another at a manufacturer in Minneapolis in September—and then the unthinkable nightmare at a Connecticut elementary school in December where 20 small children and six brave teachers were murdered—are the latest in an epidemic of such gun violence over the last three decades. Since 1982, there have been at least 62 mass shootings across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii. Twenty-five of these mass shootings have occurred since 2006, and seven of them took place in 2012. This background check thing is truly a no-brainer.

Of course background checks won’t stop all the killing. But almost no one disagrees that it would save SOME lives…and probably many lives.

So why – WHY – are these Republican congressmen against something as basic and common sense and non-controversial as a comprehensive background check system?

Well, there are the lame-ass stated reasons, and then there are the real reasons. Here’s a sample of the frequently stated (lame-ass) reasons:

This bill would unnecessarily burden private sales. I think it has unintended consequences. This bill greatly restricts the rights of law-abiding citizens.

-Senator Chuck Grassley, R – Iowa, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Wow. Really!? An “unnecessary burden” to private sales? That’s one of the lamest things I’ve ever heard. This can not be their real reason. A “burden” like having to transfer registrations and titles when you sell cars? Or having to get a credit check before you borrow money? And “greatly restricting the rights of citizens?” Seriously? And which rights would those be? The right to not have your background checked before you buy a weapon that’s designed to kill people? And where exactly is that right spelled out in the constitution? And how about my “right” not to get shot by a crazy guy with a gun?

Ok…there’s got to be something else. What’s the REAL reason?

The truth? These guys want to be re-elected, and they are terrified that if they back down even one tiny bit on the issue of guns, they will be “primaried” in their districts back home – meaning, the whack-job-right-wing-tea-partiers will brand them as not sufficiently conservative and put one of their own loons up against them in 2014.

These guys are willing to act against what is best for you and me and our children for their own self-interests.

What can we do?
1. Punish the bastards. Check out the names below. If you see an “R” by a name, do everything you can do to make sure people don’t vote for that guy next year. And the men and women with the “D’s” by their names? Get out the vote for them!

Patrick J. Leahy
Chairman, D-Vermont
Dianne Feinstein
Chuck Grassley
Ranking Member, R-Iowa
Chuck Schumer
D-New York
Orrin G. Hatch
Dick Durbin
Jeff Sessions
Sheldon Whitehouse
D-Rhode Island
Lindsey Graham
R-South Carolina
Amy Klobuchar
John Cornyn
Al Franken
Ted Cruz
Richard Blumenthal
Jeff Flake
Mazie Heron

2. Email your congressmen and congresswomen. Believe it or not, this does occasionally help. Congressmen/women report that the stated opinions of their own constituents does carry weight.

3. Spread the word. Make sure your friends and family know what’s at stake here…and how pathetically self-serving the Republicans are behaving.

4. Be hopeful: The NRA is losing it’s power! Case in point: Robin Kelly, whose campaign called for tougher national gun laws, clinched her party’s nomination last week in a special primary election for the House seat vacated by Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr. The contest, which had been unexpectedly cast into the center of the national gun debate, pitted Kelly, who had previously received an F- rating from the NRA, against Debbie Halvorson, a former Congresswoman with name recognition and an A+ rating from the NRA. The good news: The more the pro-Kelly campaign ads focused on Halvorson’s A+ NRA rating, the further behind in the polls Halvorson fell!

GunTragedyThe hope: Maybe I’m being a dreamer, but wouldn’t it be great if Republicans in Congress got to the point in which they were free to vote their consciences and the will of their constituents, instead of advancing the agenda of the NRA for fear of being the target of the once-powerful NRA lobby? Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, guys….

ONE FINAL NOTE – a message to my conservative critics: If you think I’m off base here, that’s fine. But here’s what I need from you. Don’t write in with a rant about second amendment rights, or gun confiscation conspiracies, or drivel about how guns don’t kill people. This is about background checks, and only about background checks. Instead, do me a favor. Give me ONE RATIONAL REASON to not support a background check bill. I dare you. I challenge you. I double dog dare you. In fact, I’ll send you $20 if you come up with something reasonable. (But if your “reason” is about background checks being “a burden on private sales” or how background checks “greatly restrict the rights of citizens,” you lose.)