THE EDITORS of the New England Journal of Medicine last week accused the National Rifle Association of political blackmail because of the group’s efforts to block the nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy as surgeon general.
While they were at it, the medical journal’s editors should have pointed out the political cowardice of those in Congress prepared to cave in to NRA pressure. They came close, but ultimately couched their criticism, instead calling the reluctance of at least 10 Senate Democrats to vote for Murthy “a demonstration of just how much political power our legislators have ceded to the NRA.”
In February, a bipartisan group of senators approved Murthy’s nomination and forwarded it to the floor for a full vote. Yet, despite stellar credentials, Murthy’s nomination is on hold and probably doomed because of personal views he has expressed on gun control.
One particular tweet by Murthy from 2012 “haunts” the nominee, according to David Weigel of Slate. In it, the physician wrote he was “tired of politicians playing politics w/guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue.”
When Northern California liberals are said to be “up in arms,” it usually means they’re marching down San Francisco’s Market Street or rallying at Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza — not toting guns and actively defending their right to do so.
But Marlene Hoeber, president of the Northern California chapter of the Liberal Gun Club, wants the world to know that lefty politics and a love for guns and gun rights aren’t mutually exclusive.
“If the conversation about gun policy in the United States is limited to what the National Rifle Association has to say, the conversation is over because not enough people want to listen to that,” said Hoeber, 43, of Oakland. “Hell, I’m a gun person and I don’t want to listen to that.”
Just more evidence for the assertion that you don’t have to be conservative to own guns or to use them safely.
Marlene Hoeber is feisty, tattooed, transgender, a self-described feminist, a queer activist - and a crack shot with her favorite “toys,” guns of just about every kind.
One thing she’s not - and proud of it - is a member of the National Rifle Association.
“We make ourselves a special place where we don’t have to hear about the ‘Kenyan Muslim socialist’ in the White House,” said Hoeber, a biotech equipment mechanic who says she’s politically “somewhere around Emma Goldman,” the turn-of-the-20th century anarchist.
Instead, Hoeber - whose array of firearms includes an M1 carbine rifle from World War II and a custom-made .44-caliber pistol - and other left-leaning gun lovers have their own organization: the Liberal Gun Club.
I’ve mentioned our group a few times before but here’s another look at it from the SF Chronicle. Check it out and if you find it interesting, come one over!
In a Monday court filing, the National Rifle Association asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a 1968 law that prevents licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to people between the ages of 18 and 21.
The NRA, along with two nineteen-year-olds, aims to overturn the federal law that restricts the sale of handguns and ammo to anyone under 21 years of age. While individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 cannot obtain a handgun from a licensed dealer per the law, they can still obtain a gun through other channels. The law also does not prevent individuals between 18 and 21 from obtaining shotguns and rifles.
“Because everyone who sells firearms on anything even approaching a regular basis must be federally licensed, this restriction precludes law abiding adults under the age of 21 from purchasing handguns from the most common (and most logical) sources,” the filing reads.
In 2012, the first challenge to this federal gun law was rejected in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The court held that the age restriction was “consistent with a longstanding tradition of targeting select groups’ ability to access and to use arms for the sake of public safety.”
Right-wing commentator Ted Nugent drew criticism, and even calls for his removal from the National Rifle Association’s board of directors, after he issued a series of race-baiting rants in response to the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Those statements were only the tip of the iceberg.
Here’s a question.
Why is it that National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent gets away with joking about machine-gunning South Central Los Angeles residents from a helicopter, equating them with the feral hogs he likes to hunt in the same manner?
In a profile that appeared in the Washington Post’s Sunday magazine last weekend, Nugent detailed how he befriended Texas governor Rick Perry while at the same time offering a policy solution to the state’s feral hog problem:
Nugent says it was at his suggestion that Perry, dealing with feral hog populations that were destroying crops, signed a controversial law allowing private hunters to shoot the animals from helicopters. Nugent has been up more than once, using an automatic rifle and donating the meat to Hogs for a Cause, a Christian ministry that provides game meat to food pantries.
According to the article’s author, “it’s a story he loves to tell” and that he repeated during a paid appearance before an association of entrepreneurs in San Antonio:
“Lots of places have a hog problem,” Nugent said. “In Texas, the hogs have a Ted problem.” He described the giddy joy of shooting from the open copter with an M4 machine gun. “And four hours later I had 450 dead hogs,” he said to loud applause. Then he added an afterthought that produced ample laughs: “And now if they would just take me to South Central. … Okay! I kid.”
It is very simple. If a political opponent’s complexion isn’t dark enough to kindle the deepest, subconscious racial fears of those to whom you are appealing - just photoshop it!
Joe Scarborough on Thursday accused the National Rifle Association of using a shaded picture of President Barack Obama that appears in the gun group’s new ad targeting Sen. Joe Manchin.
“He’s shaded awfully. I think the shading is rather dramatic on the side of his face,” Scarborough said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
After getting the cold shoulder from the federal government for 17 years, U.S. scientists who study the public health impact of gun-related violence are finally getting a warm embrace. A report issued today by the National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) lays out a national strategy for firearms research that identifies more than a dozen possible topics.
The report comes 5 months after President Barack Obama announced an end to the ban on public health research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that had been in place since 1996. The White House also asked NRC and IOM to organize a blue ribbon committee of firearms experts, criminologists, and public health scientists, which was charged with surveying the existing literature and coming up with recommendations for future research.
One key need, it says, is simply more and better information on how many guns are in the United States and how often they cause death or injury. “The problem is there just aren’t any data,” committee Chair Alan Leshner told ScienceInsider in a telephone interview. (Leshner is CEO of AAAS, publisher of ScienceInsider.) “Others on the committee may not have been surprised, but I was.”
The best available estimates put firearm-related deaths in the United States at more than 30,000 per year, with twice as many nonfatal injuries. That is the highest rate among industrialized nations. But details about the circumstances of the deaths and injuries, let alone their causes, are often lacking. And the number of guns across the country—both legally and illegally owned—is simply unknown. Political lobbying groups such as the National Rifle Association have vigorously fought to prevent such data from being collected by the federal government.
National Rifle Association padding membership claims while hiding losses
By JOHN DAWKINS - Capitol Hill Blue
February 20, 2013
Insiders at the embattled National Rifle Association say the organization is padding its claims of recent increases in membership and say more members are leaving amid criticisms over strident positions taken by controversial leader Wayne LaPierre.
“In reality, our membership is probably dropping,” says one embittered NRA staffer, who asked not to be identified. “It’s hard to say because our membership department is always playing games with the numbers.”
If this continues, perhaps there will be room for a true gun owners group to take the NRA’s place. Once can only hope.