The commercial is an unambiguous appeal to gun owners: A middle-aged hunter, rifle in hand, vows that he will fight to protect the Second Amendment. But in a sensible, father-of-the house tone, he also urges voters to support comprehensive background checks, ”so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can’t buy guns.”
The man behind the advertisement is not known for his kinship with the gun crowd: New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the nation’s fiercest advocate of restrictions on firearms since the December rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Determined to persuade Congress to act in response to that shooting, Bloomberg on Monday will begin bankrolling a $12 million national advertising campaign that focuses on senators who he believes might be persuaded to support a pending package of federal regulations to curb gun violence. The ads, in a dozen states, will blanket those senators’ districts during an Easter congressional recess that is to be followed by debate over the legislation.
In a telling sign of how much the white-hot demands for gun control have been tempered by political reality, Bloomberg’s commercials make no mention of an assault weapons ban once sought by the White House and its allies, instead focusing on the more achievable goal of universal background checks.
”You don’t want to lose everything in the interest of getting the perfect,” Bloomberg said in an interview, acknowledging his disappointment over the apparent unlikelihood of an assault weapons ban, but insisting he is resolved to push the legislation through at a time when its prospects are uncertain.
It’s been one year since Trayvon Martin was confronted, shot, and killed in Florida by George Zimmerman. Ever since Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder last April in the death of the unarmed teen, a story that sparked a firestorm of debate over racial tensions, law enforcement, and gun regulations has mostly faded from the headlines. Zimmerman’s trial is expected to begin this summer. In the meantime, here are some key aspects of the case worth considering:
Does Zimmerman’s story add up?
A written statement and police video released last June, in which Zimmerman reenacts the deadly altercation for investigators at the scene, raised questions about Zimmerman’s story in more ways than one. He seemed to suffer from some peculiar memory loss that night regarding a street in his neighborhood of many years, and his description of the confrontation did not jibe with a prior written statement that he’d given police. More details here.
WAYNE LAPIERRE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, NRA:
The National Rifle Association — 4 million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters — join the nation in horror, outrage, grief, and earnest prayer for the families of Newtown, Connecticut, who have suffered such an incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.
Out of respect for the families and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment.
While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectably silent. Now, we must speak for the safety of our nation’s children.
An Organization with only four million members, a tiny 1.3% of the total U.S. population, controls the discussion of gun policy and the creation of gun regulations and laws in this country. We have allowed perhaps the most fervently pro-gun fringe group within our nation the power to give direction to our elected representatives. Why is that?
Because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one, nobody has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?
The only way to answer that question is to face the truth. Politicians pass laws for gun free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And, in doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.
The gun free zones that he is complaining about do not in any way effect members of law enforcement or licensed security staff, only private citizens. Many schools around the country are already staffed with a police officer during operational hours. Not just in the big cities where many schools already have controlled entry points and metal detectors but in more rural areas too.
It was not a mandated “Gun Free Zone” that prevented Newtown from having an armed security officer, rather it was considerations of cost and the mistaken belief that “It probably wont ever happen here.” Wayne ignores all of this to phrase his argument so that it implies that no armed security is allowed on school property, something that is far from true.
How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order. Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, court houses, even sports stadiums are all protected by armed security.
We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol Police officers. Yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the American family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world know it, and exploit it.
Again Wayne completely ignores the fact that many schools already have “School Resource Officers” (SROs) and argues that armed murderers only attack schools because they know that no armed resistance will be found there. This flies in the face of reality where the perpetrators of these crimes have attacked both schools and colleges that did in fact have an armed police presence.
The truth is, that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters. People that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons, that no sane person can every possibly comprehend them. They walk among us every single day, and does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on a school, he’s already identified at this very moment?
Here comes the fear! That’s right folks, monsters and demons are everywhere, they are so prevalent in our society that you meet them every single day! You should quit reading this right now and go out and buy a gun because that is the only thing that will help to make you feel secure again!
Luckily for you in most states you will be able to buy a gun today, with no waiting period, thanks to the efforts of the NRA to defeat the 5 day waiting period that was originally included in the Brady Act. Only a handful of states have enacted their own state waiting/cool down periods for the purchase of firearms and only six include rifles of any type in those regulations.
How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave, while provoking others to try to make their mark.
What solution does he propose to this, and is it really an overriding factual consideration? I have yet to see any real evidence that shows that posthumous fame is the primary goal for these shooters. Still, let us assume that he is correct and that media attention is a strong motivating factor, how does he intend to limit this attention?
A dozen more killers, a hundred more? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill? The fact is this: That wouldn’t even begin to address the much larger, more lethal criminal class — killers, robbers, rapists, gang members who have spread like cancer in every community across our nation.
The NRA has actively fought against the creation of such a database claiming that it would deny millions of legitimate gun owners their rights based on earlier juvenile mental health records. It has campaigned to restrict the types of information that could be included in such a database. It has also either directly or indirectly supported the appeals of more than 30,000 people who have successfully contested being denied a gun purchase due to background checks.
Judges have repeatedly shown themselves to be loath to hold juvenile records of instability against adults in regards to gun ownership. Even though the truth is that adults almost never encounter the mental health system involuntarily unless through the criminal court system.
But never mind all that, now they want to know why it has not been done yet, obviously it is the fault of the clueless federal government!
Meanwhile, while that happens, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40 percent, to the lowest levels in a decade. So now, due to a declined willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years. Add another hurricane, terrorist attack, or some other natural of manmade disaster, and you’ve got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization.
Sneaky use of statistics alert: Federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40% compared to when exactly?
Overall gun crime is down, probably due in no small part to the mandatory long prison sentences now imposed for gun related crimes by most states. Federal prosecutions for gun related offenses only occur in less than 1% all gun related crimes and primarily deal with non-licensed and illegal gun sales or possession of illegal weapon types. How is this at all relevant to the level of violent gun crime within this country?
Oh, and fear II then makes an appearance, just one more hurricane, just one more terrorist attack, or one more “manmade” (Government false flag attack!!!) disaster is going to result in the total breakdown of society. Boy will you be wishing you had bought a gun then, how else are you going to shoot your neighbors when they come to take your stuff?
And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal. There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like ‘Bullet Storm,’ ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ ‘Mortal Combat,’ and ‘Splatterhouse.’
And here’s one, it’s called ‘Kindergarten Killers.’ It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research staff can find it, and all of yours couldn’t? Or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it? Add another hurricane, add another natural disaster. I mean we have blood-soaked films out there, like ‘American Psycho,’ ‘Natural Born Killers.’ They’re aired like propaganda loops on Splatterdays and every single day.
Fear III rears its ugly head, it is the prevalence of violent video games titles and movies that is responsible for the decreasing violence in America!
Wait a second, violent crimes are decreasing even as movies and games have become increasingly more violent? How can that be? Perhaps the vast majority of people in this country are too grounded in reality to use fictional movies and games to motivate them to actually kill people in real life instead of as escapist entertainment as intended?
1,000 music videos, and you all know this, portray life as a joke and they play murder — portray murder as a way of life. And then they all have the nerve to call it entertainment. But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography? In a race to the bottom, many conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society, by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior, and criminal cruelty right into our homes. Every minute, every day, every hour of every single year.
Once again Wayne, this is escapist fantasy and is recognized as such by 99.9999% of those who are exposed to it. Show me some clinical studies that prove that this type of entertainment actually has an effect on peoples decisions in real life and I’ll start taking you seriously.
A child growing up in America today witnesses 16,000 murders, and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18. And, throughout it all, too many in the national media, their corporate owners, and their stockholders act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators.
Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize gun owners.
Gee Wayne, did you ever stop to consider that if guns didn’t permeate our society and that if real gun assaults did not constantly happen around us in this country, that maybe they would not be so prevalent in the fictional accounts either?
See part II here: littlegreenfootballs.com
Gov. Jan Brewer made an unannounced trip to military bases in Afghanistan this week as she visited with service members from Arizona and flew around the war-torn nation in helicopters with guns hanging out the windows.
Details of the trip were kept under wraps for security reasons as the Republican governor quietly left the state over the weekend, though details about her travels trickled out.
The governor said Wednesday during a call to reporters that she jumped at the chance to travel to Afghanistan and that the trip gave her a deeper appreciation of the professionalism and courage of service members.
“You tend to forget that everyone is carrying real guns and they are putting their lives on the line,” Brewer said. “You know that but until you actually see it, it’s very different.”
Yes, Jan. Did you know that Border Patrol agents carry real guns, too? And did you know that anyone in Arizona who is 21 or older can carry a concealed real gun, without even a permit needed? I guess that won’t seem real either until you actually see it, even though you signed the bill.
The law’s passage is the culmination of several years of political maneuvering to ease gun regulations in Arizona.
During her time as governor, Janet Napolitano vetoed at least a dozen different weapons bills - several similar to the law going into effect today - that would have eased restrictions on gun owners.
But Napolitano’s departure and the appointment of Gov. Jan Brewer in January 2009 gave the Legislature and gun-rights groups an ally in the executive office. Brewer signed the law April 16.
More along the same lines here.
Gov. Jan Brewer, in her first trip to Afghanistan, said the war in real life is “unimaginable.”
Decentralized regulation in the gun-friendly U.S. creates ample opportunities for guns to leech from lightly regulated areas to stricter locales.
Gun regulations illustrate that there is what amounts to a national patchwork reflecting regional cultural differences around gun politics. And decentralized regulations mean guns have been flowing from states with weak laws into those with much stronger ones.
The range of gun laws in states across the country is vast. Some states demand stricter background checks, and others make it easier to purchase weapons at gun shows. Wisconsin and Illinois don’t offer concealed carry permits, while every other state does. California just outlawed openly carrying an unloaded gun in public. Federal law excludes convicted felons from purchasing guns, but some states add to that black list anyone with a violent misdemeanor on their record.
The cumulative effect is a national patchwork reflecting regional cultural differences around gun politics. But Brown University economist Brian Knight has documented another side effect of this variegated map: Guns in America have been flowing from states with weak laws into those with much stronger ones, as demonstrated by this week’s gun smuggling case announced in New York City.
“What surprised me was the magnitude of the effect,” Knight said. “It turns out that over one-third of guns recovered at crime scenes are originally purchased in other states. In New York, it’s two out of three guns…”