Posts Tagged ‘firearms’

‘America’s Rifle,’ American Carnage

February 19, 2018

'America's Rifle,' American Carnage

In the February 14th school shooting in Parkland Florida, 17 people were killed with an AR-15 type rifle, legally purchased by an 18-year-old American citizen too young to legally buy beer. It has long been known that the assault-style AR-15, which the NRA calls “America’s Rifle,” is the mass killer’s weapon of choice. After an assault-style weapon killed 5 children at a school in Stockton California in 1994, Congress passed a ban on the civilian sale of semi-automatic assault-style firearms and high-capacity magazines, but the law was allowed to expire in 2004. Since then, such massacres have increased 183 percent with a 239 percent increase in massacre deaths.

After 2004, U.S. gun manufacturers re-branded variants of the military-derived AR-15 as the “Modern Sporting Rifle” even though the gun is terrible for hunting. It was designed to do maximum damage to the human body. Just ask Dean L. Winslow, MD.

It’s not just this Florida school shooting. Assault-style rifles have been used in recent mass killings in Aurora Colorado (22 dead), Newtown Connecticut (26 dead), Santa Monica California (6 dead), Colorado Springs (3 dead), San Bernardino (14 dead), Orlando (49 dead), Las Vegas Nevada (58 dead), Roseburg Oregon (9 dead), and Sutherland Springs Texas (26 dead).

Is it time to bring back the assault weapon ban? The surviving students at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School seem to think so. The Second Amendment shouldn’t be a suicide pact. The Founding Fathers never saw an AR-15.

More:

“The AR-15: ‘America’s rifle’ or illegitimate killing machine?” Marc Fisher, Washington Post

“Mass shootings are getting deadlier. And the latest ones all have something new in common: The AR-15,” Matt Pearce, Lost Angeles Times

“Nothing in the Constitution Prevents Sensible Gun Rules,” Cass R. Sunstein, Bloomberg

“Laws we used to have on the books could have prevented the Florida school shooting,” Robert J. Spitzer, Washington Post

“No one becomes a mass shooter without a mass-shooting gun,” George Skelton, Los Angeles Times

“Top GOP Donor Cuts Off Opponents of Assault Weapon Ban,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

“Shooting survivors to press for gun control,” AP via ABC News

“Florida school shooting: Students demand tighter gun controls,” BBC News

“Florida high school superintendent shares calls for ‘commonsense gun laws,’” Josh Delk, The Hill

“Florida massacre: Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s plea for gun control,” Kyle Swenson, Washington Post

“Ex-CIA chief: Congress must act now to block access to semiautomatic weapons,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

“A Republican Governor Just Called for a Ban on Assault Weapons,” Dan Friedman, Mother Jones

“At vigil for Florida shooting victims, students who survived the attack chant, ‘No more guns!'” Catherine Garcia, The Week

“Stoneman Douglas survivors are emerging as the sanest voices on gun control,” Karen Hao, Quartz

“Murdoch’s New York Post shifts on assault-weapons ban, after Florida school shooting,” Callum Borchers, Washington Post

“All the things Fox News blamed the Parkland shooting on other than the gun,” Adam Epstein, Quartz

“Florida students protest Trump, NRA,” Morgan Gstalter, The Hill

“Surviving Teens of Parkland Massacre Tell NRA to Shove Its ‘Thoughts and Prayers,’ and Plan March on Washington,” Angela Helm, The Root

“Shooting survivor to NRA: ‘Don’t you dare come back here,’” Rebecca Savransky, The Hill

“Shooting suspect was on school rifle team that got NRA grant,” Michael Biesecker and Collin Binkley, Associated Press

“Outside NRA headquarters, hundreds gather in vigil and protest,” Clarence Williams, Washington Post

“NRA Goes Quiet on Twitter, Just Like After Previous Mass Shootings,” Matt Novak, Gismodo

“FBI investigating whether Russian money went to NRA to help Trump,” Peter Stone and Greg Gordon, McClatchy News

“NRA contributions: how much money is spent on lawmakers?” Lauren Gambino, The Guardian

“Have your representatives in Congress received donations from the NRA?” Aaron Williams, Washington Post

“Lawmakers use campaign funds for NRA dues,” Ben Wieder, McClatchy News

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18th US School Shooting of 2018

February 15, 2018

18th US School Shooting of 2018
17 are dead and at least 15 others wounded at a Florida high school after a former student returned to campus with an assault rifle on Wednesday. This is the 18th school shooting in the first 45 days of 2018. Wednesday’s school shooting in Broward County’s Parkland is the 10th deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. So far. The Republican congress continues working to further weaken America’s gun laws.

Wednesday’s alleged high school shooter, a former JROTC member who was on the school rifle team, showed obvious signs of instability while he was still a student, according to former classmates: “All he would talk about is guns, knives and hunting.” “I’ve seen him wear a Trump hat.”

More:

“Florida School Shooting: ‘No Words’ as 17 Die in a Barrage of Bullets,” Audra D.S. Burch and Patricia Mazzei, New York Times

“17 People Died In The Parkland Shooting. Here Are Their Names,” Laurel Wamsley, NPR

“Trump, Who Made It Easier for Mentally Ill People to Buy Guns, Blames Mental Health Issues for Florida Shooting,” Inae Oh, Mother Jones

“Trump Calls For Mental Health Action After Shooting; His Budget Would Cut Programs,” Vanessa Romo, NPR

“President Trump’s Victim-Blaming Response to the Mass Shooting in Florida,” Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker

“White House refuses to release photo of Trump gun law repeal,” BBC News

“American Carnage,” Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

“Student who survived Florida shooting pleads with Trump and Congress: ‘Please, take action,’” Kristine Phillips, Washington Post

“Teacher who survived school shooting breaks down in tears calling for gun control,” Rebecca Savransky, The Hill

“School safety money would be slashed in Trump budget,” Kimberly Hefling, Politico

“Report: Florida Shooting Suspect Nikolas Cruz Passed Background Check for AR-15,” Daily Beast

“Most Americans can buy an AR-15 rifle before they can buy beer,” Lois Beckett, The Guardian

“The AR-15: ‘America’s rifle’ or illegitimate killing machine?” Marc Fisher, Washington Post

“All the things Fox News blamed the Parkland shooting on other than the gun,” Adam Epstein, Quartz

“Laws we used to have on the books could have prevented the Florida school shooting,” Robert J. Spitzer, Washington Post

“It’s time to bring back the assault weapons ban, gun violence experts say,” Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

“Shooting suspect was on school rifle team that got NRA grant,” Michael Biesecker and Collin Binkley, Associated Press

“After Sandy Hook we said never again. And then we let 1,607 mass shootings happen.” German Lopez, Ryan Mark and Soo Oh, Vox

“After Sandy Hook, More Than 400 People Have Been Shot in Over 200 School Shootings,” Jugal K. Patel, New York Times

“The normalization of America’s school shootings, in one chart,” Ana Campoy, Quartz

“After Sandy Hook, More Than 400 People Have Been Shot in Over 200 School Shootings,” Jugal K. Patel, New York Times

“This is America: 9 out of 10 public schools now hold mass shooting drills for students,” Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox

“‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens,” The Onion

“Before FL Shooting, NRA Posted Valentine Featuring Guns And Bullets,” Cristina Cabrera, TPM Livewire

“The NRA Is a Terrorist Organization,” Michael Harriot, The Root

“The gun lobby: See how much your representative gets,” Tyler Fisher,  Sarah Frostenson, and Lily Mihalik, Politico

 

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

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2017: Have a Lethal Christmas!

December 17, 2017

Have a Lethal Christmas!

Francis X. Clines in the New York Times:

“For the single-day binge of gun sales measured annually after Thanksgiving, the F.B.I. received 203,086 requests for background checks. This is the most ever in a single day, topping last year’s Black Friday high of 185,713 requests. (No immediate tweets from President Trump, the candidate of the National Rifle Association, that this is huge in making America great again.)

There were undoubtedly even more guns actually sold, since an F.B.I. request can cover a buyer’s multiple purchases. All seasonal evidence indicates that AR-15 assault rifles, the battlefield knockoffs familiar to so many Americans in the relentless tales of mass shootings, will be under many Christmas trees. ‘Bang for the buck!’ enthused the blog post of one seasonal shopper. ‘I picked up a Bushmaster carbine with rebate for around $400 … I couldn’t be happier.’”

More:

“Guns were Black Friday must-haves, going by the FBI’s record 203,086 background-check requests,” Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post

Related:

“Sandy Hook mom slams Trump for hosting NRA head on anniversary of shooting,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

“Americans Don’t Really Understand Gun Violence,” David Bernstein, The Atlantic

“America’s gun problem, explained,” German Lopez, Vox

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Congregation Responds to Church Shooting Danger

November 22, 2017

Congregation Responds to Church Shooting Danger

The subject of church shootings came up at dinner last Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. “Well, I’ve got my gun on me,” said an 81-year-old church member, echoing the “good guy with a gun” defense popular in that neck of the woods. He pulled out his .380 Ruger handgun, accidentally pressing the trigger.

“A bullet fired across the palm of the 81-year-old’s hand and toward his 80-year-old wife, who was sitting in a wheelchair next to him. It ripped through her lower left abdomen, out the right side of her abdomen, into her right forearm and out the backside of her forearm. The bullet then struck the wall and ricocheted, landing under the wife’s wheelchair ….”

— “Man accidentally shoots himself and his wife at a church, shortly after a discussion on shootings,” Marwa Eltagouri, Washington Post 

The elderly couple were medevacked to a Knoxville hospital for treatment. Their injuries are said to be non-life-threatening, but they’re in their 80s, for Pete’s sake. It’ll be a while until they’re back in the pews.

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School Supplies

November 13, 2017

School Supplies
“Florida Christian School in Miami put a few order forms on its website to make school supply shopping easier. Parents can purchase their children T-shirts bearing the school’s logo or some snugly winter wear. Or, for $120, they can buy them bullet-resistant panels designed to slip into their backpacks in case of a school shooting.”

— “Florida school lets parents buy bulletproof panels for students to put in backpacks,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

More:

“It weighs less than a book and can stop a bullet. It’s a backpack option at Miami school.” Alex Harris, Miami Herald

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More and More Frequent

November 10, 2017

More and More Frequent

“… there are now fewer days between mass shootings and more fatalities. In the 1990s, an estimated 159 people were killed in mass shootings. That figure rose to 171 people in the 2000s. So far this decade, at least 381 people have been killed in mass shootings.”

“… less deadly mass shootings rarely receive the same degree of media attention because they simply happen so frequently. The last mass shooting prior to Sunday happened just four days earlier, when Scott Allen Ostrem, 47, walked into a Walmart in Denver and fatally shot two men and a woman, before leaving the store and driving away.”

— “Not your imagination: mass shootings now happen more frequently in the US,” Mona Chalabi, The Guardian
(more…)

See You in Church

November 8, 2017

See You in Church

“When criminologist Dallas Drake and two interns first searched for church shootings in the United States, they found 137 instances between 1980 and 2005, the majority of them causing no deaths. More recently, Drake decided to update the database, and found a disturbing trend: There were more shootings in Christian churches between 2006 and 2016—147 of them—than in the 25 years prior.”

— “Church Shootings Are Becoming Much More Common,” Francie Diep, Pacific Standard

More:

“The other deadly church shooting in America on Sunday,” Cleve Wootson, Washington Post

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Now Is Not the Time?

October 3, 2017

Now Is Not the Time?

59 people are dead and 527 injured after a man opened fire on the audience at a country music concert in Las Vegas. Can tragedies like this be prevented? Our elected officials must be working on that now, right?

According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “there will certainly be a time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place that we’re in at this moment.”

You’ve heard this before, every single time Americans slaughter their fellow citizens with mass gunfire. After the Pulse nightclub, the Aurora movie theater, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary SchoolLuby’s Cafeteria in KilleenMcDonald’s in San Ysidro, and Columbine High School.

So we can’t talk about sensible gun control measures after a senseless mass killing. It’s like that guy who won’t fix the hole in his roof when it’s raining because he doesn’t want to get wet, and when the sun shines he says he doesn’t need to fix it.

More:

“Now is exactly the right time to talk about gun politics,” Mark Kelly, Washington Post

“Chuck Todd: ‘Why is now not the time’ to talk about gun violence?” Josh Delk, The Hill

“Mass shootings are an American problem. There’s an American solution.” Chris Murphy, Washington Post

“If Newtown Wasn’t Enough, Why Would Las Vegas Be Enough?” Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

“Why ‘thoughts and prayers’ is starting to sound so profane,” Kirsten Powers, Washington Post

“We don’t need your prayers in Sin City. We need gun control,” C. Moon Reed, Los Angeles Times

“Washington’s Ritualized Response to Mass Shootings,” Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker

(more…)

Walmart Back-to-School Special

August 10, 2017

Walmart Back-to-School Special

“Walmart has condemned a display inside one of its stores that appeared to market firearms as back-to-school items. The company said Wednesday it was working to identify which of its stores put up the exhibit.

A photo of a sign reading ‘Own the school year like a hero’ was placed directly above a glass case filled with guns. Photos of it spread like wildfire on social media.

— “Walmart apologizes for sign marketing guns as back-to-school items,” Jackie Wattles, CNN

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Black Friday 2016: High-Caliber Sales

November 29, 2016

Black Friday 2016: High-Caliber Sales
‘Tis the season. As the world prepares to wish for Peace on Earth, Americans spent Black Friday 2016 stockpiling firearms. On the day after Thanksgiving the FBI processed a record 185,713 background checks for gun transactions, more than any single day since the NICS system launched 18 years ago, up from last year’s 185,345 background checks. Jingle bells, pass the shells.

The Trump campaign got $30 million from the NRA, which claimed a Clinton administration would ban the assault-type weapons prized by militias and mass murderers, and would confiscate all privately-owned  firearms. The Obama presidency has been good for gun merchants, who predicted a Trump victory would see a slump in sales, but it hasn’t happened. There are anecdotal accounts that the 2016 election prompted a rise in gun purchases by anxious African Americans. See, Donald Trump is boosting the economy, even before his inauguration.

More:

“FBI runs more background checks than ever after gun sales soar on Black Friday,”Alex Yablon, The Guardian

Related:

“Burglars rob militia family bungalow of guns, machetes, grenades and body armor,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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