Archive for the ‘Guns’ Category

Orlando: American Shoots Other Americans

June 12, 2016

Orlando: American Shoots Other Americans
A heavily armed native-born American walked into an Orlando gay bar Sunday morning and killed at least 49 other Americans before he was shot by police. Actually, some people may say the perpetrator was not a real American because he was born in New York.

50 49 victims are known dead and about an equal number have been hospitalized, many in critical condition. At this time investigators have not established and reported other facts, but this has not kept commentators and politicians from recklessly flapping their gums. We await the NRA’s inevitable pronouncements that the shooter was mentally ill and that the bar patrons should have been armed.


“The gun used in the Orlando shooting is becoming mass shooters’ weapon of choice,” Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

“Ex-CIA Chief: It’s Way Past Time for an Assault Weapons Ban,” John McLaughlin, OZY

“Orlando nightclub shooting suspect bought guns within week of attack,” Mary Shanklin, Orlando Sentinel

“Assault weapons remain legal and easy to purchase in US,” Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press

“Ban on Weapon Used in Orlando More Distant Than Ever, Even If Clinton Wins,” Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

“Florida Nightclub Attack Just the Latest US Mass Shooting,” AP via NBC News

“Orlando shooting: The key things to know about about guns and mass shootings in America,” Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

“Orlando Shooting, 16 Front Pages From Newspapers Around The World,” Helene Snyder, Worldcrunch


“U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons,” Jonathan Masters, Council on Foreign Relations


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Image (“Old Glory”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.


Massacre on Fifth Avenue?

January 28, 2016

Massacre on Fifth Avenue?
“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”
Donald Trump, West Des Moines Iowa
January 23, 2016 [NBC News]

Note: Donald J. Trump has a New York City concealed-carry permit and owns several handguns.


Reducing Gun Violence

January 5, 2016

Reducing Gun Violence

President Obama made public remarks Tuesday on the need to curb America’s epidemic of gun violence.

“Our right to peaceful assembly — that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora, high schoolers in Columbine and from first graders in Newtown. First graders. And from every family who’d never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”

“We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence. We maybe can’t save everybody, but we can save some.”

“How did we get here? Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common sense reforms might not have stopped the latest massacre or the one before that, so why bother trying.”

The President commented on his forthcoming executive actions:

“These are not only recommendations that are well within my legal authority and the executive branch, but they’re also ones that the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners, support me doing.”


Report: Black Friday, 2015

December 3, 2015

Report: Black Friday, 2015
It’s the season when we prepare to wish “peace on earth and goodwill to all” by buying gifts and decorations. Americans spent Black Friday 2015 stockpiling firearms. On the day after Thanksgiving, the FBI processed a record 185,345 background checks for firearms purchases, 2 every second. That’s the same day an armed American attacked a women’s health clinic in Colorado Springs and shot to death a police officer, a mother of two, and an Iraq War veteran.

On Wednesday two shooters armed with assault rifles killed 14 people and wounded 17 others at a San Bernadino nonprofit social service center.

God bless us one and all.


“Black Friday saw most federal gun background checks ever in a single day,” Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post


“Gun background-check database missing vital information,” Anita Kumar, McClatchy Newspapers

“How ‘active shooter’ became a depressing part of our vocabulary,” Emily Badger, Washington Post


Colorado Springs: God & Guns

December 1, 2015

Colorado Springs: God & Guns
It was the home of Garrett Swasey, Jennifer Markovsky, and Ke’Arre Stewart. It’s White Evangelical Mecca, where it’s perfectly normal to walk down the street carrying an AR-15 assault rifle. Welcome to Colorado Springs.

“Colorado’s second largest city, with a population of 445,800, has built itself a reputation as a playground for white, pro-gun, pro-life Evangelical Christians. It is also home to one army base, two air force bases, and an air force.”

— “Colorado Springs: a playground for pro-life, pro-gun evangelical Christians,” Josiah Hesse, The Guardian

So when you visit Colorado Springs, bring your Bible, your ski vest and your flak vest.


Dr. Ben Carson Re-Writes the Hippocratic Oath

October 9, 2015

Dr. Ben Carson Re-Writes the Hippocratic Oath

“As a Doctor, I spent many a night pulling bullets out of bodies. … but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”

Benjamin Carson MD

In a graphic elaboration of Jeb Bush’s “stuff happens,” retired brain surgeon Ben Carson explained that you’re gonna die of gunshot wounds to defend a willful misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

Dr. Carson also suggested that President Obama forgo visiting the grieving families of Roseburg, Oregon and wait for the next mass shooting. There’s never a long wait; there’s been a mass shooting almost every day this year.

Thanks, Doc. Time for a second opinion.


A Farewell to Arms

August 29, 2015

A Farewell to Arms
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, will stop selling assault rifles in its US stores. Hope those aren’t on your kid’s back-to-school list.

The Big Box retailer, America’s biggest gun seller, claims there’s reduced consumer demand for AR-15s and similar military-style weapons. The NRA and other gun worshipers call such firearms “modern sporting rifles,” which makes perfect sense if you consider Adam Lanza and James Holmes “sportsmen.”


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Image (“Old Glory”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Bobby Jindal: ‘Not the Time’ to Consider Gun Law Reform

July 27, 2015

Bobby Jindal: 'Not the Time' to Consider Gun Law Reform
On Friday Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) said that it is too soon after the mass shooting in a Lafayette movie theater to discuss gun control reform. By that logic it will never be a good time to talk about gun safety laws in Louisiana, since the rate of gun deaths in the Pelican State is the highest in the country. Discussion of rational policies to reduce firearms violence will always be preempted as citizens mourn Louisiana’s newest gunshot victims.

Come to think of it, that kind of neglect is perfectly consistent with the rest of Governor Jindal’s public health policy.


The Gekas Loophole

July 25, 2015

The Gekas Loophole
On April 16th, 21-year-old Dylann Roof was allowed to purchase a 45 caliber Glock handgun from retailer Shooter’s Choice of West Columbia SC, despite his arrest, indictment, and his pending trial for felony possession of a narcotic prescription drug. Why was this sale permitted? The FBI is taking the blame for an incomplete background check, but the purchase went through because of the gentleman pictured above, former Congressman George W. Gekas, who represented Pennsylvania’s 17th District for 20 years.

When the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was on the House floor in 1993, Rep. Gekas (R, PA-17) introduced Amendment 390, requiring a technologically impossible “instant background check” and, if the FBI couldn’t clear the purchaser within five days (later 3 days) then the sale could go through. This “Gekas Loophole” or “default proceed sale” provision was added, the bill passed, and President Clinton signed it into law.

Today, explains the New York Times‘ Michael S. Schmidt:

“Many major gun retailers, like Walmart, will not sell a weapon if they do not have an answer from the F.B.I., because of the fear of public criticism if the gun is used in a crime. The marginal sale of one gun means little to the bottom line of a large dealer, which is not the case for smaller stores like the one that sold Mr. Roof his gun.”


Gun enthusiast Ted Nugent to Play Concert in Waco a Week After Shootout Kills 9

May 18, 2015

Gun enthusiast Ted Nugent to Play Concert in Waco a Week After Shootout Kills 9
Next week rock guitarist and gun-happy NRA Board Member Ted Nugent will play a concert in Waco, a few blocks from the site of the biker gang gunfight that killed nine people and injured 18 on Sunday. Mr. Nugent lives nearby. The shootout started at the Twin Peaks Restaurant, where Thursday is Bike Night.

192 people were arrested and their bail set at $1 million each.  The biker gangs have allegedly sanctioned executions of Waco police.


“Rocker Ted Nugent to play solo show at Waco Hippodrome,” Carl Hoover, Waco Tribune

“A former undercover agent explains what’s behind the Waco biker gang shootout,” Libby Nelson, Vox

“How the Bandidos became one of the world’s most feared biker gangs, Michael E. Miller, Washington Post

“Texas Lawmakers Talk About Expanding Gun Rights Day After Mass Shooting,” Ahiza Garcia, TPM Livewire


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