"We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.”
NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre probably smiles when he see reposts like these.
The Gun Show Loophole Remains — And You Should be Angry About That.
Reading through the reactions to yesterday’s successful obstruction of an expanded background checks bill, there’s one thing you notice right away. Normally, stories like this are peppered with words like “saddened,” disappointed,” or “discouraged.” That’s not the case today. Today, people are opening their papers or visiting their favorite online news source and reading words like “angry,” “disgusted,” and “furious.”
The pro-crime lobby may think they’ve beaten us, but all they really managed to do is make us mad.
For her part, Gabrielle Giffords has spent her time cultivating the image of a happy warrior, a friendly hero overcoming tremendous adversity and senseless tragedy. While the hero part of that persona remains, “happy” doesn’t describe her op-ed on the issue in the New York Times:Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe. We cannot allow the status quo — desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation — to go on.
I am asking every reasonable American to help me tell the truth about the cowardice these senators demonstrated. I am asking for mothers to stop these lawmakers at the grocery store and tell them: You’ve lost my vote. I am asking activists to unsubscribe from these senators’ e-mail lists and to stop giving them money. I’m asking citizens to go to their offices and say: You’ve disappointed me, and there will be consequences.
Giffords writes that “if we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s.” The issue of partisanship does not come up. Democrat, Republican, or Independent, if you sided with the pro-criminal gun lobby, we want your head.
“This defeat is only the latest chapter of what I’ve always known would be a long, hard haul,” she says. “Our democracy’s history is littered with names we neither remember nor celebrate — people who stood in the way of progress while protecting the powerful. On Wednesday, a number of senators voted to join that list.”
President Obama’s reaction was just as angry and just as nonpartisan. He said that the gun lobby had “willfully lied” about background checks,that too many senators “failed,” and that members of both parties caved to NRA pressure, making the wrong choice. Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald notes that the President deliberately chose to use provocative language: “Even though politicians lie all the time, the word ‘lie’ is almost never uttered in public discourse in Washington, let alone by the president, underscoring his unusual anger.” Personally, I think it’s both shameful and a mistake not to call out lies as lies — it makes it so much easier for liars to get away with it — so the rejection of softer language strikes me as a breath of fresh air. And, of course, the unaccustomed bluntness is designed to put the charge in headlines.
This tone of righteous anger and accusations of lying really is that deliberate, I think. The soft-on-crimers are now in a position where they have to defend their vote if they want to talk about it. And of course, it invites factcheckers to examine the claims. But there’s a tendency in the face of anger to react with anger, to meet passion with passion — and the person who strikes back in anger lashes out thoughtlessly and clumsily, ensuring that PR mistakes will be made. Heartless comments will be spoken, the families of the massacred will be insulted. You think “legitimate rape” was a misstep? Wait until some gun lobby puppet tells a tearful Sandy Hook parent to stop complaining or accuses a survivor of the Aurora massacre of being a closet communist. Some on the right already felt safe attacking Newtown families; start whacking them in the nose over and over and they’ll really start to get stupid.
And seriously, better than 90% of Americans backed the background check bill. That’s as close to unanimous as you’re ever likely to see. Republicans may be quietly celebrating their win in a cocktail party with NRA lobbyists somewhere, but they’d be wise to ask themselves how many of these sorts of “victories” their party can actually survive. From women’s health to immigration to marriage equality, they really need to consider the fact that they can’t take the minority position on every issue and become a majority party again. If gun safety advocates don’t let the issue go, it highlights how they’ve once again taken the side opposite the voters.
But the most powerful tool in the toolbox is that righteous anger. Senators who voted to sustain the filibuster shouldn’t be asked to explain themselves, they should be made to defend themselves — and not as legislators, but as human beings. They should be asked, “What the hell is wrong with you?” Patricia Maisch, a hero of the Tuscon shooting rampage that so critically injured Gabrielle Giffords got it right. As soon as it was clear the filibuster had held, she stood up in the Senate gallery and shouted, “Shame on you! Shame on you!” This woman grabbed a magazine away from Jared Loughner in Tuscon in 2011, preventing him from reloading and undoubtedly saving many lives. She showed the same courage yesterday, raining condemnation down on spineless or soulless Senators who put gun sales and profits above protecting American lives. Make no mistake, protecting the giant loopholes in current background check law is about being able to sell guns and ammo to criminals. President Obama is right: anyone who says differently is a liar.
And they should be called liars. To their face.
[photo by M Glasgow]
Guns do not make a nation safer, say US doctors who have compared the rate of firearms-related deaths in countries where many people own guns with the death rate in countries where gun ownership is rare.
Their findings, published Wednesday in the prestigious American Journal of Medicine, debunk the historic belief among many people in the United States that guns make a country safer, they say. On the contrary, the US, with the most guns per head in the world, has the highest rate of deaths from firearms, while Japan, which has the lowest rate of gun ownership, has the least.
The vast majority of Americans remain in overwhelming support of universal background checks on all gun purchases even several months after Republicans stymied new gun control legislation in Congress.
Count me in
That’s John Howard, Australia’s Prime Minister at the time of the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996. After the massacre, he prompted the passing of gun control laws throughout Australia. Gun buy-back programs resulted in the destruction of 600,000 guns, private sales were prohibited, guns were required to be individually registered to their owners and assault weapons were banned or heavily restricted. The result? Gun homicides reduced 59%, gun suicides dropped 65% and there have been no mass shootings since (4 or more deaths at one time).
Francis Wilkinson of Bloomberg News
“Here’s the blunt fact: for all the talk about “responsible gun ownership,” guns are easily available to everybody, responsible or not. It’s an empty compliment even to refer to “responsible gun owners” - many of them are people who through good luck simply have not had their irresponsibility catch up with them yet…” - David Frum
Rand Paul: UN has secret plot to ‘CONFISCATE and DESTROY ALL’ of America’s guns (via Raw Story )
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Saturday warned President Barack Obama was working on behalf of “anti-American globalists” in the United Nations who were plotting against the U.S. Constitution. In a fundraising email sent on behalf of the National Association on Gun Rights, Paul alleged the U.N. Arms…
Another day, another toddler killed by firearms.
Houston Chronicle: Police say a 2-year-old boy has died after accidentally shooting himself in the head at a North Texas home while his father was nearby.
Corsicana police on Thursday identified the victim as Kinsler Davis.
Police Chief Randy Bratton says the father called 911 on Wednesday night to report the shooting. The wounded boy was transported to a Corsicana hospital and then on to a Dallas hospital where he died later Wednesday.
Bratton says the boy apparently found a handgun in a bedroom. The child’s 35-year-old father was in the walk-in closet of the bedroom at the time of the shooting.
These things will happen, right? I mean, the occasional dead kid is just the price you pay to keep kids safe, right? Sure, that makes sense. After all, this is just an isolated incident. It’s not like this happens all the time.
I have it on good authority that the gun nuts are tired of seeing stories like this. Hey, join the club. The difference here is I’d rather do something to prevent these incidents and they’d rather everyone just ignored them.
As long as there are irresponsible parents (aka until the end of time) there will be kids dying in a plethora of ways due to lack of supervision/all out negligence and bad parenting. Kids also die falling off playgrounds, getting attacked by dogs, swallowing chemicals, etc. Hard truth is there’s nothing you can do. Deal with it. Sure, there could be a law mandating keeping guns locked away, keeping cable locks on all guns, whatever, but negligent parents are negligent parents and these things will continue to happen.
Short of taking guns out of homes with children, which is a completely hopeless idea, there really is no answer to it. The only possible help you could hope to give is to mandate some sort of firearms safety course.
But really, I’m interested in what you think could be done to prevent this.
Mandatory trigger locks and making it a crime to store your gun loaded.
*moved this to the blog i meant to post on*
I shudder to think how many more people would die every year because they were fumbling with a trigger or cable lock while someone was breaking into their house. But I digress. This Houston article you cited has that father’s gun clearly not locked in a safe like it should have been, like responsible gun owners do. I have two handguns and both are locked in the safe at all times unless they are on my person. I don’t even live with children. The safe cost 70 bucks. Mandate proof of a safe or whatever, sure, but mandating that guns be stored unloaded is unreasonable and would get more people killed than it would save.
Either way, this man was not storing his guns properly if his 2 year old was able to access them, and no amount of laws would have that child alive today. And actually a quick search of Texas gun storage laws yielded this little tidbit:
IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE, TRANSPORT, OR ABANDON AN UNSECURED FIREARM IN A PLACE WHERE CHILDREN ARE LIKELY TO BE AND CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THE FIREARM.
So I doubly doubt that child would be alive today under any other circumstances. Poor parenting and negligence are to blame here, not the gun. Any other approach seems, to me, to be a witch hunt of gun owners.
No. Keeping loaded guns is irresponsible. The NRA agrees. A trigger lock AND unloading the gun is redundancy and any safety expert will tell you that redundant measures are preferable, since it gives you an automatic backup should one of the measures fail somehow (i.e., you forget).
Everyone thinks they’re a responsible gun owner, but no one thinks they’re an irresponsible gun owner. Had that gun been unloaded, the kid wouldn’t have been able to unload it into his face. Anyone who stores guns loaded is an irresponsible gun owner.
As for the rest, once again we see the ridiculous expectation gun nuts have of laws regarding guns. If a law does not a prevention rate of 100%, it’s supposedly a complete failure. This same logic would have people laughing at child car seats, since not every baby strapped into one survives a crash. If it’s not 100%, it’s complete failure. If it’s possible for someone to disobey a law, everyone will disobey it.
It’s jawdroppingly illogical.
The concept of redundancy makes sense, I’ll submit to that, but personally I would not feel nearly as comfortable in my home if I knew I had to first unlock and then load my gun before I could defend myself with it. When seconds matter, those extra steps could be the death of me. However, I don’t feel that keeping my guns loaded is irresponsible. They are always in a safe, and the safe is hidden, albeit not well, but it isn’t in plain view. The safe is also always locked, which for me is plenty enough peace of mind to know that nobody will accidentally hurt or kill themselves with my guns. If I had children in my home, I might consider keeping the ammunition separate, but we’re all adults here and only one other person has the combination.
Obviously I’m speaking of myself and only myself, but its my opinion that a locked safe is plenty enough protection from accidents, as one should always treat a gun as if it is loaded, even after verifying it isn’t. Thats the redundancy I prefer. I should also make it known that I don’t support the NRA, although they have done a lot to promote gun safety, they can be wildly insensitive and hypocritical at times.
But I should make it clear that we all take offense to the term ‘gun nut’ as it implies we are unstable or insane. I know and have talked to hundreds of gun owners who share my views or views similar and you would not be able to pick them out of a crowd as being unbalanced or what have you. That term is akin to racism or prejudice as far as I’m concerned, being that the whole point is to dehumanize a group of people with views different from yours. Its insensitive and as someone interested in preserving human rights I’d expect better from you, especially considering I made no attempt to insult you or your views.
That being said, background checks didn’t stop Adam Lanza.
I’m not really interested in what you do or don’t find offensive. When even the NRA says storing a loaded gun is irresponsible, you lose any claim to being a responsible gun owner. And it’s not “akin to racism,” because if you ever get tired of being called a gun nut, you can just become a responsible gun owner and stop being one. If your irrational paranoia prevents you from doing that, don’t come looking for sympathy from me — irrational and irresponsible = nutty. No one’s going to kill you because your gun’s unloaded. You might as well carry the fire extinguisher around with you at home — seconds count!
And again, you fall back on the unrealistic expectation of 100% effectiveness with “background checks didn’t stop Adam Lanza.” Did you read my previous response at all? I destroyed that argument.
lol. i 4got how much i enjoyed seeing quickhits own dumb gun nuts for breakfast lunch & dinner
NRA convention sells ‘ex girlfriend’ shooting target so you can practice shooting at womenNed Hepburn:Elizabeth Plank:
The best part about some hardcore conservative gun lovers is the hyperbolic statements about “pro life” while simultaneously getting mindboners about shooting women in the face—as with this zombie woman above, named “The Ex.” The website is quoted as saying: “To discriminate against Women by not having them represented in our product selection would be just plain sexist.” So would having a shooting target that bleeds oh my god who are we as a people when did our reality become a sudden dick salad what the fucking fuck, people.
Gun violence is a gendered issue since it impacts women and men in very different ways. Because women are more vulnerable to violence within the home than men (and men are most often the perpetrators of violence against women), the presence of a gun makes females less safe, not more. How do we know? A woman’s likelyhood of a violent death within the home actually increases by 270% when a gun is kept inside the house. Homicide figures don’t lie.
In Zombie Industries’ brochure, only the Muslim (“Taliban”) and the woman have human skin tones (although this is new: as recently as February, the Barack Obama target was called Barocky and had human skin tone).
nope. totally no connection between gun nuts, gun violence & domestic violence *oscar pistorius*