By Doug Porter
As Vice-President Joe Biden’s task force has been meeting with pro-gun and gun safety groups over the past week, it’s dawned on the extremists in the mix that something more than rhetoric might actually happen in the wake of last months school shooting in Connecticut.
The report that some actions to regulate or oversee gun/ammo sales might come about through executive order has sent some advocates into a frothing frenzy. Today’s column will focus on their statements and attempt to place these firearm fanatics into a context that makes sense.
This week in gunnuttia kicked off when Radio Host Alex Jones went on a scathing pro-gun tirade on Piers Morgan’s CNN show, saying: “1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms! Doesn’t matter how many lemmings you get out there on the street, begging for ’em to have their guns taken. We will not relinquish them. Do you understand?!”
Legislators in Georgia and Indiana are pushing bills that will remove restrictions of concealed firearms being brought onto college campuses, despite the opposition of law enforcement official in those states. From ThinkProgress:
According to the Brady campaign, “Eighty-six percent of campus police chiefs disagree or strongly disagree that allowing students to carry concealed weapons on campus would prevent some or all campus killings.” But despite the general consensus among law enforcement, the gun lobby is engaged in a serious effort to put guns on school grounds.
The claim that adding more guns decreases violence is unfounded. College campuses are actually among the safest communities in the country — much safer, even, than the areas surrounding them. Ninety three percent of the violence perpetrated against students happens off campus. At the same time, the risks of keeping guns in the home translate to campuses, too. Whether by homicide or suicide, people in a home — or, indeed, a dorm — with a firearm, are more likely to be killed by gunshot wound than in a home without a gun.
“We Shall Overcome” Part One
Let start our tour of Gunnuttia land with burned-out rocker Ted Nugent, whose fetish for firearms extends to his performances, where he’s been known to wave assault rifles around on stage whilst yelling “Hey, Obama, suck on this”. Check out this video link if you don’t believe me.
Talking about potential gun safety measures over at WND.com (a very right wing web site), Media Matters reports Nugent wandered into some very strange territory:
“But there will come a time when the gun owners of America, the law-abiding gun owners of America, will be the Rosa Parks, and we will sit down on the front seat of the bus, case closed.”
He’s also a board member of the National Rifle Association.
“We Shall Overcome” Part Two
As I mentioned earlier this week, the gun extremists are staging a national “Gun Appreciation Day” to coincide with the weekend of President Obama’s second inauguration. Check what Larry Ward, chairman for that event, had to say on CNN:
“I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history”
Guns are a Part of Motherhood
I am even more speechless at this one. From Buzzfeed:
Meanwhile, the Independent Women’s Forum, a conservative organization, stoked the fire by casting the 2nd Amendment as a women’s issue, warning that Obama’s gun control efforts could put women at greater risk of rape or other violence.
“I am passionate about the 2nd Amendment, particularly because I’m a mother. I’m a thirty-something year old woman with a 3 year old and a nursing newborn. Without my concealed weapon, I wouldn’t be able to protect myself against an assailant that seeks to do me or my family harm,” Forum Fellow Anne Rittgers said in a statement.
“Laws limiting magazine capacity and availability of semiautomatic handguns will directly impact women, who use these weapons for self-defense inside and outside the home. Any executive action by President Obama to restrict guns will limit a women’s capability to fight back against attackers and protect herself and her family,” she added.
Guns Are Part of Manhood
Yeah, yeah, we all knew that. Take a gander at this video from self-described CEO James Yeager in Tennessee. He went on YouTube and Facebook to let the world know he was ready to “start killing people” if President Barack Obama decides to take executive action to pass further gun control policies. He’s since replaced the original video with a slightly less threatening version. (WARNING: Language in this video might not be suitable for the workplace.)
UPDATE: The International Conspiracy/United Nations/Illuminati have struck. From the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security:
NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced today the suspension of James Yeager’s handgun carry permit after he was featured in a threatening YouTube video post that went viral earlier this week.
The decision to suspend Yeager’s handgun carry permit was based on a “material likelihood of risk of harm to the public” (TCA 39-17-1352).
Arizona Sheriff Arpaio’s Arm the Criminals Program
I don’t know how this guy manages to stay in office, but you gotta admire his ability to inject himself into any crisis. Members of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s volunteer posse started patrolling around Maricopa County schools. Only there’s just one, teeny, tiny potential problem. FromCBS5/KPHO News:
Arpaio wants his army of 3,000 volunteer posse members to look like sworn deputies and sometimes perform the same duties. But an in-depth project by CBS 5 Investigates uncovered a number of posse members with arrests for assault, drug possession, domestic violence, sex crimes against children, disorderly conduct, impersonating an officer – and the list goes on.
These are crimes that are not tolerated in many professions, especially professions with an implied authority.
“We have about 600 (members) armed with guns,” said Arpaio. “We haven’t seen any problems with posse men and women shooting people and everything else. Where are all the problems?”
Except the Sheriff didn’t bother to tell some schools about sending out these posse members. Taft Elementary School Principal, Russ Heath, talking to ABC15 News:
“I was a little confused when I was in parking lot with those two gentlemen in the marked car. It sure seemed like from the uniforms they might have been regular deputies, but I’m not sure I’ve seen uniforms for the posse members.”
What Exactly Are These People Frothing About?
So far nothing has actually been proposed. There are plenty of reports in the news media about what different people think should happen. One thing we know for sure is the National Rifle Association is unhappy about the fact that there are even discussions taking place about anyrestrictions or regulations relating to guns. From Buzzfeed:
“We [the NRA] attended today’s White House meeting to discuss how to keep our children safe and were prepared to have a meaningful conversation about school safety, mental health issues, the marketing of violence to our kids and the collapse of federal prosecutions of violent criminals,” the group said.
The NRA said they will oppose efforts to tighten gun laws following the shooting. “We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen.”
No! Even to Research About Gun Violence?
Yes, when the NRA says they’re opposed to “tightening” gun laws, they mean everything. Even science can not be allowed to examine the sacred bond between a man and his guns. From Reuters:
Research restrictions pushed by the National Rifle Association have stopped the United States from finding solutions to firearms violence, more than a hundred scientists from virtually every major U.S. university told Vice President Joe Biden’s task force on gun violence in a letter on Thursday.
“While mortality rates from almost every major cause of death declined dramatically over the past half century, the homicide rate in America today is almost exactly the same as it was in 1950,” the academics wrote in a letter organized by scholars at the University of Chicago Crime Lab research center.
“Politically-motivated constraints” left the nation “muddling through” a problem that costs American society on the order of $100 billion per year, it said.
No! Not Even to Better Background Checks?
The one item that Vice President Biden has strongly suggested will emerge from his task force will be the recommendation that background checks on gun purchases be strengthened and made universal. Certainly, the NRA can’t be oppose to that seemingly sensible suggest, can they? From Vanity Fair:
A January 2011 poll conducted for Mayors Against Illegal Guns by the bipartisan polling team of Momentum Analysis and American Viewpoint found that 86 percent of Americans and 81 percent of gun owners support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check, no matter where they buy a gun or who they but it from,” the Web site for Mayors Against Illegal Guns reports. O.K., so, right!
Out of curiosity/sheer terror, though, we wondered about the nominal substance of N.R.A.’s opposition to universal background checks. It took us about 30 minutes of Googling to actually track down a more substantive answer than “the N.R.A. does like background checks!” and “the N.R.A. believes ex-criminals have paid their debts to society,” but we eventually stumbled upon a number of press releases on the N.R.A. Web site that criticize background-
The Ridiculous ‘Why’ Behind the Gunnuttia Mindset
If you drill down past the rhetoric and the posturing of the NRA’s extremists (A 2012 poll shows that 74 percent of NRA members support mandatory background checks for all gun purchases) it comes down to one simple reason to own guns. It’s not about the hunting, or protecting the home. It’s about resisting tyranny.
If you are of the mindset that there is a real threat to your personal liberty coming from the government, then buying tons of ammo and assault weapon is apparently the answer.
I’ll let Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera respond to that one, as he did yesterday morning:
“I think that paranoia is unfortunate… when you examine those people who are stocking up arsenals of AR-15s and .223 Bushmasters, they are often people who are so deeply suspicious of their own government that it is bitterly ironic that these are the same people who claim a mantel of patriotism.”
And here’s the ridiculous part as far as I’m concerned: Do these gun nuts really think their puny weapons have any chance against a well-armed and trained military force? Would they really feel comfortable killing fellow citizens?
Here’s the Real Deal
Most Americans support actions aimed at reducing gun violence. While the NRA touts its 100,000 new members, 400,000 people have joined with NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s (and the mayors of 800 other US cities) Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Their “Demand a Plan” petition has garnered 900,000 signatures.
These are the real patriots. “We support the Second Amendment and the rights of citizens to own guns,” reads the coalition’s mission statement. “But what binds us together is a determination to fight crime, and a belief that we can do more to stop criminals from getting guns while also protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them.”
Have a good weekend.
On This Day: 1912 – The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)-organized “Bread & Roses” textile strike of 32,000 women and children begins in Lawrence, Massachusetts. It lasted ten weeks and ended in victory. The first workers to walk out were Polish women who, upon collecting their pay – which had been reduced – exclaimed that they had been cheated and promptly abandoned their looms. 1964 – U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released a report that said that smoking cigarettes was a definite health hazard. 1964 – “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash became the first country album to top the U.S. pop album chart.
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Fallbrook (102 S. Main, at Alvarado) 10 am – 2 pm, Imperial Beach (Seacoast Dr. at Pier Plaza) 2 – 7:30 pm, Kearny Mesa (No. Island Credit Union pkg lot 5898 Copley) 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, La Mesa Village (Corner of Spring St. and University) 2 – 6 pm, Rancho Bernardo (Bernardo Winery parking lot 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte) 9 am – noon, Southeast San Diego(4981 Market St. West of Euclid Ave. Trolley Station) 2 – 6 pm
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