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New Study: Nearly 9% of Americans Are Angry and Impulsive, and They Own Lots of Guns

US News • Views: 28,827

I’ve been arguing for a while that the gun lobby’s focus on mental illness as a primary cause of gun violence is nothing more than a diversion from the real issue — the appalling prevalence of guns in the United States, where there are more than 290 million guns in the hands of private citizens.

A new study by researchers from Duke, Harvard and Columbia Universities lends even more weight to my argument, and reveals another disturbing wrinkle: many of those who own six or more guns have serious anger management issues.

Tread lightly, Americans: Nearly 9% of people in the United States have outbursts of anger, break or smash things, or get into physical fights — and have access to a firearm, a new study says. What’s more, 1.5% of people who have these anger issues carry their guns outside the home.

The findings, published Wednesday in the journal Behavioral Sciences and the Law, suggest that measures to reduce gun injuries and deaths should focus less on diagnosed mental illness and more on a history of violent behavior.

The new research also indicates that the 310 million firearms estimated to be in private hands in the United States are disproportionately owned by people who are prone to angry, impulsive behavior and have a potentially dangerous habit of keeping their guns close at hand. That’s because people owning six or more guns were more likely to fall into both of these categories than people who owned a single gun.

[…]

Fewer than one in 10 of those angry people with access to guns had ever been admitted to a hospital for a psychiatric or substance abuse problem, the study found.

Their behavioral history might suggest a propensity for violence, according to the study. But nothing in their medical histories would bar them from legally purchasing guns under existing mental health related restrictions.

“Gun violence and serious mental illness are two very important but distinct public health issues that intersect only at their edges,” said study leader Jeffrey Swanson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine.

Raw Video Shows Cops Shoot, Kill Subdued Man, Mock Him While He Lay Dying

By Jay Syrmopoulos on April 11, 2015
US News • Views: 28,808

Yet another extrajudicial execution from a police force. In this case the suspect was shot by a reserve volunteer officer of 73 years of age who confused his taser with a gun. This comes from the mentality that some police have that anyone who runs gets tased, beat down, or killed even after they stop resisting or running. Accidental or not I still have lots of questions about this one.

YouTube

The final tragic moments of Eric Harris’s life were caught on video, as well as the sociopathic nature of law enforcement. Harris was accidently shot by a reserve deputy, apparently meaning to taser him, while on the ground being subdued by other officers.

“He shot me! He shot me, man. Oh, my god. I’m losing my breath.”
To which an officer gives a response that can only be described as sociopathic, telling the dying Harris, “Fuck your breath! Shut the fuck up!”
Harris can be seen on the video running from police as the officer with the body cam gives chase, catching and taking Harris to the ground. Once on the ground the officer can be heard telling Harris, “Roll on your stomach now.”

Reserve officer Robert Bates, 73, can be heard yelling “Tazer! Tazer!” as if to inform the other officer that he was about to use his stun gun on Harris, when suddenly a gunshot rings out.

“I shot him!” the stunned reserve officer says, as he drops his gun onto the ground. “I’m sorry.”

More: BREAKING: Raw Video Shows Cops Shoot, Kill Subdued Man, Mock Him While He Lay Dying

Also See

Dash Cam Video of Walter Scott Traffic Stop Shows No Struggle Occurred

No struggle between the cop and the shooting victim
US News • Views: 23,595

YouTube

Here’s the dash camera footage of the traffic stop of Walter Scott by South Carolina policeman Michael Slager; the only new information we can glean from this: there was no struggle at the car. Mr. Scott apparently panicked and took off running after Slager took his license and walked back to the patrol car. You don’t see Slager running after him, but shortly after Scott takes off you hear Slager shouting, “Taser, taser, taser.”

(The video doesn’t show the actual shooting.)

UPDATE at 4/9/15 2:46:01 pm by Charles Johnson

Right wing nutcase Chuck C. Johnson has been desperate to smear Walter Scott since the shooting video was released, and he just tweeted this:

Actually, no — it doesn’t make it more complicated at all. If anything, it confirms that Scott didn’t attack or threaten Slager before he was shot in the back and killed as he was running away.

John Oliver’s Must-See Interview With Edward Snowden

Oliver to Snowden: “You have to own that”
US News • Views: 20,501

YouTube

John Oliver might be the first interviewer who has ever asked Edward Snowden some hard questions about what he did. In this Last Week Tonight clip, Oliver presses Snowden relentlessly on why he stole and released so many secret documents without ever reading them — and Snowden doesn’t come off well at all. And Oliver does this while still addressing our very real concerns about privacy and surveillance, a balancing act no one else has managed to achieve.

It’s sad that we’ve reached a state where comedians do a better job of real journalism than most journalists, who’ve acted more as sycophantic enablers of Snowden’s actions than anything else.

‘Revenge Porn’ Caveman Gets 18 Years, Chuck C. Johnson Supports Him

The Ginger Avenger thinks revenge porn is groovy
US News • Views: 24,523

Kevin Bollaert was sentenced yesterday to 18 years in prison for running a horrific “revenge porn” site where hateful cretins could post explicit images of their ex-wives and ex-girlfriends.

Kevin Christopher Bollaert, a Web developer, posted the pictures and then charged women from $300 to $350 to have the pictures removed. He was convicted in February of multiple felony counts of identity theft and extortion.

Bollaert was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to his victims and a $10,000 fine. Bollaert will be allowed to serve the sentence in a county jail rather than state prison under the judge’s ruling.

And guess who immediately came out strongly in favor of what Bollaert was doing?

This isn’t surprising, because Chuck C. Johnson was openly discussing setting up a blackmail/extortion site of his own recently.

Hey, Chuck? That’s a great idea! I think you should definitely pursue it.

Video: Detroit Police Viciously Assault Black Man for No Reason

Horrible
US News • Views: 29,867

YouTube

Lots of people I follow on Twitter have been tweeting about this horrifying video. Why is this still happening in America?

Neo Nazi Gunman Arrested in Mesa, Ariz., Shootings That Left 1 Dead, 5 Wounded

White supremacist mass shooting in Arizona
US News • Views: 28,483

The 88 and rune tattoos indicate that the suspect is likely to be a neo-Nazi or other white supremacist gang member.

UPDATE at 3/18/15 5:09:15 pm by Thanos

SPLC and others confirm affiliation with Hammerskins; other mass shooters like the Sikh Temple shooter have come from that group as well.

Ryan Giroux

The gunman who cut a bloody swath through a Phoenix suburb Wednesday morning, shooting six people in Mesa, Ariz., has been arrested, city officials announced.

Police did not identify the suspect, but an Arizona law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told the Los Angeles Times the man was 41-year-old Ryan Giroux.

The official requested anonymity because he or she was not authorized to discuss the case. Giroux has a lengthy criminal history that includes convictions for assault in Arizona and Los Angeles County, court records show.

More: Gunman Arrested in Mesa, Ariz., Shootings That Left 1 Dead, 5 Wounded

Also See

Did James O’Keefe Try to Plant an Undercover Operative in Ferguson to Incite Protesters to Violence?

Crossing all kinds of lines
US News • Views: 26,876

I don’t trust any of the people involved in this story, neither the James O’Keefe associates nor the New York Post, but if true this could be the end of James O’Keefe’s creepy business: Activist Allegedly Tried to Bait Protesters With ‘Kill Cops’ Script.

A controversial conservative activist is being accused of trying to incite anti-police protesters by saying, “I wish I could kill some of these cops,” to provoke them into making outrageous statements.

A former top staffer with Project Veritas, Richard Valdes, said the incident occurred in January, when an undercover operative assigned to infiltrate the protest groups was given a script that included the startling comment.

Valdes said he was fired by the group’s founder, James O’Keefe, for not following through on the bizarre assignment.

Valdes said Veritas assigned a Muslim undercover agent pretending to be anti-cop to attend protest meetings and utter the following statement: “Sometimes, I wish I could just kill some of these cops. Don’t you just wish we could have one of the cops right here in the middle of our group?”

But the undercover agent refused, according to Valdes.

GOP State Rep. Harris Exploited Foster Daughter for Political Campaign, Reportedly Whipped Children

US News • Views: 27,152

The story of Justin Harris just keeps getting worse:

State Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) used photos of a foster child his family was planning to adopt during his 2012 re-election campaign. The state Department of Human Services expressly prohibits the public use of photos or any other media that would compromise a foster child’s anonymity.

Asked whether the Department of Human Services was aware Harris was using a foster child in campaign materials, DHS spokesperson Amy Webb said she couldn’t comment specifically on Harris, but speaking generally, she said the agency would not allow such use.

“If we were made aware of a situation like you described, we would immediately call the foster or pre-adoptive parent and tell him to discontinue using the picture on any campaign material. We would not be comfortable with a foster child’s picture being used during a campaign. [DHS’s Office of Policy and Legal Services, which according to department rules, has to approve public use of any media featuring a foster child] would not agree to that either.”

It’s hard to believe that no one in DHS was aware that Harris was using photos of a foster child during pre-adoption, considering these were campaign materials distributed in Harris’ district and made available online.

More: Justin Harris Used Foster Daughter in Campaign Materials, Against DHS Rules

At the same time, they were subjecting the children to mental and physical abuse:

During the state police inquiry on Francis, the youngest of the girls, then 3 years old, told investigators that Marsha and Justin Harris had both spanked her.

Marsha Harris, according to the girl, used some sort of whip several times, while Justin Harris bent her over outside and hit her with a stick, court records said.

“She said that [parents are] not supposed to spank her,” state police investigators wrote. “[The girl] said it made her feel sad when Marsha [Harris] spanked her. It made her bottom hurt … [She said she is] not [living with the Harrises] anymore because [Justin Harris] spanked her and she cried really loud.”

The state police reports do not indicate when the spanking occurred.

DHS spokesman Amy Webb said corporal punishment is not condoned or permitted by DHS for children in DHS custody. She said all foster parents and foster-to-adoption parents undergo training and instruction on not using physical forms of discipline and are taught alternative disciplinary tactics.

“We feel like there are more appropriate ways to discipline and interact with children, especially children who’ve experienced traumatic situations,” Webb said.

Webb said the agency has no say over a parent’s disciplinary techniques once children are fully adopted, but she said her agency encourages adoptive parents to refrain from spanking.

The older of the two girls, who was 6 years old when she told state police that Francis had sexually assaulted her, did not mention spanking before asking to end the interview.

She did, however, tell investigators that she was often left isolated in her room while living with the Harris family.

“[She] said that they wouldn’t let her out of her room. She said she had to stay in her room; she said she had her books, but when they took away her books she had nothing in there, just her bed,” the investigator said. “When asked why she had to move away from Marsha’s house, she said ‘because I didn’t like it.’”

Additional:

The Arkansas Times, the newspaper which has been the primary source for news on the case, is crowdfunding an investigation into the state’s child welfare services:

Beyond rehoming: crowdfunding an investigative project

UPDATED:

Reports are now out there saying Harris would attempt to “exorcise” students at his pre-school, Growing God’s Kingdom

The former employee and mother of a student at the school wants to be named only as Amber. She says Justin and Marsha Harris would often try to pray the demons out of misbehaving students at their pre-school, Growing God’s Kingdom.

“If they got in too much trouble they would pray on the kids, do a circle around them, put their hands on their heads, saying, trying to rebuke demons.” Said former employee, Amber.

Amber was an employee at Growing God’s Kingdom for about five months in 2013. She says Justin Harris fired her after a difference in opinion on how to discipline students. Though she says she learned a lot about the Harris family during those five months.

“How did you learn about the fact that they were praying demons out of kids?” Lauren Conley asked Amber.

“Well, I had another teacher there that had me take a child down to the office and whenever I did, they did it right there in front of me.” Said Amber.

AR Republicans Defend Colleague Who Gave Adopted Daughters to Pedophile

Grotesque
US News • Views: 22,518

In a move surprising absolutely no one, Arkansas Republicans are supporting Justin Harris, the Republican lawmaker who thought his adopted daughters were possessed by demons and who gave them to a pedophile who raped one of the girls.

Secretary of State Mark Martin says Harris “humble and gentle,” his critics “hypocritically self-righteous”

The reader, who asked to remain anonymous, told me she does not know Martin and has never personally interacted with him in the past, but when a mutual Facebook friend posted the Arkansas Times story, she (the reader) became drawn into a back-and-forth with the Secretary of State.

She said she thinks Harris should resign and criticized him for his “self-pity” and refusal to accept blame. But, she also said (like many others who have responded to this story) that she has little faith in DHS and can believe their account may not be the whole truth.

Enter Martin. He replied to the reader’s comment, saying she was “making a judgement based upon misinformation by a vile socialist anti-Christian propaganda blog about one of the most righteous seeming, humble, and gentle men I have ever met in my life.”

The reader agreed that “my personal experience with our state’s media has been pretty bad” and acknowledged that “We all make HUGE mistakes (sins?) … I have and you have and everyone on this board has. The problem here is you have a man who admittedly did something that, for many, is inexcusable….but yet he is still making excuses and trying to justify his behavior.”

She pointed out that the central fact in the case is no longer in dispute: The Harrises did, indeed, send their adopted daughters away to live with another family: “My judgment is based on one fact…he GAVE AWAY CHILDREN LIKE THEY WERE ANIMALS HE PICKED UP AT THE SHELTER.”

Martin was not pleased. “Unless you have adopted a child and experienced what adoptive parents go through, I think there is very little you have a right to say. This judgement against the Harris’ [sic] is the most hypocritically self-righteous bull I have ever heard,” he responded.

“People like you are what makes people refuse to risk fostering or adopting. I believe it is people like you who are the problem. Not people who try and fail like the Harris’ [sic].”

After an increasingly heated exchange, he ended with a sarcastic remark: “You gots me. I am so dumb. You so smart. I sorry.” I recommend you read the whole exchange, below.

Republican David Meeks also joined in on his Facebook page:

I know this might anger some people, but I don’t throw someone I consider a friend under the bus. Yes, I am speaking of Rep Harris. He is someone I have gotten to know and has built up credibility with me. The tabloid that is doing most of the reporting on this has no credibility with me whatsoever. The experience that I have had with this tabloid is that they are out to destroy Conservatives, Christians and are willing to spin, lie, or make up stuff to do it.

Could any of the reporting by this tabloid be true? Of course. Is any of what Rep Harris saying the truth? Most definitely.

What should the focus be? Improving and strengthening our foster care system.

I can’t stress this enough: We have some great workers in our DCFS who do a thankless job of protecting our children and making some very tough decisions. They are to be commended.

I know that a lot of people (including myself) that have had a good experience with our foster care system. We know there are areas we can improve on and I can assure you those are being looked at. In fact, we have legislation that is taking on some of it, and the Governor has asked for a review of our adoption rules.

My worst fear is that this whole thing will discourage people from being foster care or adoptive parents and the children will be the ones to suffer.

Please pray for our DCFS (Department of Children and Families) workers, and our judges.
Please pray for our foster care and adoptive families and for God to lay it on the heart of people to open their homes.
Please pray for our Governor and the Legislators as we make important decisions.

And most importantly, pray for our children.

Meanwhile, the AR Democratic Party is calling for Harris to resign:

“As a parent and grandparent, like many Arkansans, I am shocked to learn of Rep. Justin Harris’s egregious action of placing two girls he adopted through DHS directly into harm’s way by sending them to stay with another family without approval from the adoption agency. This action directly lead to the rape of the six-year-old girl who Rep. Harris is responsible for and even received government funding to care for through the foster care system.

There are also other issues that need to be raised here. First, the children. The idea that someone could use the foster care system to treat their adopted children like basketballs, tossing them from family to family is horrible. Then, you have an elected leader who represents an antigovernment agenda; yet, he makes his living off of government funding. This is hypocrisy at its highest level.

This is a continuation of an alarming pattern that continues with several Arkansas legislators. We believe that if Arkansas families were aware of this; they would be as appalled as well. While his resignation certainly would not change these atrocities, Justin Harris has proven that he is not fit to hold the responsibility of writing our laws, and we hope that Gov. Hutchinson and Speaker Gillam will agree that Harris’s resignation is necessary.

Rep. Greg Leding has filed legislation which would make this practice of rehoming adopted children a felony, and we urge the legislature to pass this legislation in order to protect our most vulnerable citizens - our children in foster care.”

More: Democratic Party Calls for Justin Harris Resignation

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 Frank says:

There's no single ideal listener out there who likes my orchestral music, my guitar albums and songs like 'Dyna-Moe-Humm.'