This clip also features an interview with Alice Hoagland, mother of Mark Bingham (who was killed on United flight 93 on 9/11), talking about her own unpleasant experiences with 9/11 Truthers.
Despite overwhelming popular support for the Toomey-Manchin background check compromise, the Republican Party voted en masse in the Senate today to kill the bill: Gun Control: Senate Rejects Background Checks Deal.
The Senate has rejected a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks on gun sales, handing President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders a major defeat on one of the key pieces of the president’s second-term agenda.
The vote was 54-46, with only four Republicans crossing the aisle and voting with the Democrats in favor of the bipartisan proposal by Sens. Joe Manchin (d-w.va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Sixty votes were needed.
The GOP Senators killed this already watered-down bill in full view of a group of Newtown family members.
In a fitting coda to this affair, a number of Newtown family members intend to sit in the gallery to watch today’s voting, a spokesperson for one of the family groups, Sandy Hook Promise, tells me. Among them are Mark and Jackie Barden, whose youngest son, Daniel, was killed in the shooting; Nicole Hockley, who lost her son Dylan; and Jimmy Greene, who lost his daughter Ana.
Family members decided that witnessing today’s events — even if painful — was too important to forego, a source familiar with their thinking tells me. However, there is still some hesitation about having their reaction appear on camera during what would be the first significant defeat of one of their most desired legislative goals, i.e., expanded background checks.
At the school in Newtown, Adam Lanza fired more than 155 rounds in less than five minutes. The search warrants released by authorities today show the extent of the Lanza family’s arsenal; here’s the full list.
At the school:
- 1 Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15 rifle with a 30-round magazine
- 1 Glock 10mm handgun
- 1 9mm Sig Sauer P226 handgun
- 1 Saiga 12 shotgun with two magazines containing 70 rounds
- 6 30-round magazines, three of them emptied
At the home:
- 1 Enfield bolt-action .323 rifle
- 1 Savage Mark II .22 caliber rifle with magazine, 3 live rounds, 1 spent cartridge
- 1 black marksman BB gun
- 5 Winchester 12-gauge shotgun shells cut open, with buckshot
- 1 white plastic bag with 30 Winchester 12-gauge shotgun shells
- 1 can with .22 caliber and .45 caliber bullets
- 8 boxes of Winchester Windcat .22 caliber bullets, 50 rounds per box
- 20 “Estate” 12-gauge shotgun shells
- 4 boxes of SB buckshot 12-gauge, 10 round per box
- 1 box of Lightfield 12-gauge slugs
- 1 box of 20 Prvi Partizan 303 British rifle cartridges
- 1 box of 20 Federal 303 British rifle cartridges
- 2 boxes of .22 long rifle Blazer rounds, 50 each box
- 1 box with numerous rounds of Winchester .45 caliber bullets
- 2 boxes of 50 rounds of PPU .45 caliber automatic
- 1 box of 20 rounds for Remington .223 caliber
- 3 boxes of Blazer 40 S&W, 50 rounds each
- 2 boxes of Winchester 5.56 mm, 20 rounds each
- 1 box of Magtech 45ACP with 30 rounds
- 1 empty Box of SSA 5.56 mm
- 1 box of Fiocchi .45 auto with 48 rounds
- 80 rounds of CCI .22 long rifle
- 6 boxes of PMC .223 rem, 20 rounds each
- 6 Winchester 9 pellet buckshot shells, 12-gauge
- 2 Remington 12-gauge slugs
- 3 Winchester .223 rifle rounds
- 31 .22 caliber rounds
- 2 boxes of Underwood 10 mm auto, each with 50 rounds
- 130 rounds of Lawman 9mm Luger
- 2 spent shell casings for Glock 10mm
- 1 empty box of Gold Dot 9mm Luger
- 2 empty boxes of Winchester 9mm Luger
- 1 box of Underwood 10mm auto with 34 rounds
- 1 box of 29 miscellaneous 9mm rounds
- 1 spent .22 shell casing
- 1 small plastic bag containing numerous .22 caliber bullets
- 1 tan bag with numerous Blazer .45 caliber bullets
- 1 box of Blazer .22 long rifle with 50 rounds
- 1 box PPU 303 British cartridges with 9 rounds
- 2 Winchester 9mm rounds
- 2 brass-colored shell casings
- 1 small caliber bullet (live round) labeled C
- 1 Promag 20-round 12-gauge drum magazine
- 1 MD Arms 20-round 12 gauge drum magazine
- 3 AGP Arms 12-gauge shotgun magazines
- 1 Surefire GunMag magazine with 8 rounds of Winchester 12-gauge, 9-pellet buckshot
- 2 AGP Arms 12-gauge shotgun magazines, taped together, each with 10 rounds of Winchester 9-pellet buckshot
- 2 empty Ram Line magazines for Ruger 10-22
- 1 AGP Arms Gen 2 12-gauge shotgun magazine with 10 rounds of Winchester 12-gauge, 9-pellet buckshot
- 1 clear plastic Ramline magazine for an AR 15
- 1 magazine with 10 rounds of .223 bullets
- Metal bayonet
- 1 6-foot-10-inch wood-handled two-sided pole with a blade on one side and a spear on the other
- 1 Samurai sword with a 28-inch blade and sheath
- 1 Samurai sword with a 21-inch blade and a sheath
- 1 Samurai sword with a 13-inch blade and sheath
- 1 knife with a 12-inch blade and sheath
- 1 wooden-handle knife with a 7.5-inch blade and sheath
- 1 wooden-handle knife with a 10-inch blade
- 1 knife with a 5.5-inch blade and sheath
- 1 black-handled knife with a 7-inch blade and sheath
- 1 black rubber-handled knife with 9.5-inch blade and sheath
- 1 white and brown-handled knife with 5-inch blade and sheath
- 1 brown wood-handled knife with a 10.25-inch blade
- 1 Panther brown-handled folding knife with a 3.75 inch blade
- 1 small blue folding knife
- 1 Volcanic .22 starter pistol wth 5 live rounds and 1 expended round
- Leightning L3 ear protection
- Peltor ear plugs
- Simmons binoculars
- Uncle Mike’s Sidekick nylon holster
- Box for vest accessories
- Leather dual magazine holder
- Black leather handgun holster
- High Sierra fanny pack
- Numerous paper targets
- 1 cardboard targets
- 1 Bushnell sport view rifle scope
- Plastic bag of miscellaneous parts
- Safariland holster paperwork
- Glock handgun manual
- MD-20 20-round shotgun magazine manual
- MD Arms V-Plug guide
- Bushmaster XM15 and C15 instruction manual
- Savage Arms bolt-action rifle manual
- Glock paperwork
- Adam Lanza’s National Rifle Association certificate
- Nancy Lanza’s NRA certificate
- Three photographs with images of what appears to be a deceased human covered with plastic and what appears to be blood
- Holiday card with a check from Nancy Lanza to Adam Lanza for purchase of C183 firearm
- 1 digital print of a child and various firearms
- 1 military-style uniform
- Handwritten notes with addresses of local gun shops
- Receipts and emails documenting firearm and ammunition supplies
- Blue folder labeled “guns” with receipts and paperwork
- Paperwork titled “Connecticut Gun Exchange Glock 20SF 10mm” dated 12-21-11
- Sandy Hook report card for Adam Lanza
- New York Times article on a 2008 shooting at Northern Illinois Unversity
- Books: “Look me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s;” “Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Mind of an Autistic Savant;” “NRA Guide to Basics of Pistol Shooting;” “Train our Brain to Get Happy”
- 1 Seagate Barracuda 500gb hard drive, damaged
- 1 custom-built desktop computer, no hard drive
- 1 Microsoft Xbox with partially obliterated serial number
- One cotton swab of blood-like substance
- 1 tan sheet with blood-like substance
- 1 tan fitted sheet with blood-like substance
- 1 striped towel with blood-like substance
I’m not always a fan of Lawrence O’Donnell, but he gets it exactly right in this clip.
The right wing pro-gun cult swung into high gear yesterday to defend the hecklers at that Newtown hearing; practically every wingnut blogger was shouting in unison that there was no “heckling” — the people who interrupted Neil Heslin’s testimony were simply “answering his question.” They’ve actually managed to bully some media people into swallowing this line of BS:
AN APOLOGY: No, those gun supporters didn’t ‘heckle’ Neil Heslin - they just shamed themselves with their disgusting behaviour. My mistake.
But in a hearing like this, it’s common knowledge that the audience is not supposed to shout at speakers — and when the hecklers shouted “SECOND AMENDMENT” at Heslin, the chairperson admonished them not to interrupt. Watch the longer clip of Heslin’s statement above; he was asking rhetorical questions, not telling these loons it was OK to shout.
The fact is that despite the right wing’s attempt to defend this horrific behavior, it exactly fits the dictionary definition of “heckling:”
heckle |ˈhekəl| verb
1. interrupt (a public speaker) with derisive or aggressive comments
And the state of Connecticut’s rules for hearings like this one also make it very clear that this heckling behavior was out of order:
Decorum: A hearing is an important step in the process of making law, so it is a formal occasion. Please give your courteous attention to other speakers, regardless of their views. Don’t applaud or indicate pleasure or displeasure with anyone’s remarks.
I’m no longer surprised when the right stands up and defends truly awful viewpoints and behavior. In this case they’re defending the heckling of a father who is still grieving for his murdered son, and although it’s not surprising, it definitely is repulsive.
In a hearing at the Connecticut state capitol yesterday, pro-gun demonstrators actually heckled the father of a 6-year old boy killed in the Newtown school massacre.
There are no words.
The sometimes boisterous public hearing — after nearly four hours of testimony from State Police, parents of slain Newtown first-graders and city mayors — seemed dominated by gun owners, who railed at more than 90 proposed bills.
“The Second Amendment!” was shouted a couple of times by as many as a dozen gun enthusiasts in the meeting room as Neil Heslin, holding a photo of his slain 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, asked why Bushmaster assault-style weapons are allowed to be sold in the state.
“There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened,” said Heslin, who said he grew up using guns and was undisturbed by the interruption of his testimony.
“That wasn’t just a killing, it was a massacre,” said Heslin, who recalled dropping off his son at Sandy Hook Elementary school shortly before Lanza opened fire. “I just hope some good can come out of this.”
NBC has video (edited to remove long pauses):
The people creating this insidious conspiracy need help, but they might be so evil that they are beyond all help and hope. The number of videos promoting this sick lie are growing every day, and they are mostly from people who hate our president.
Yes, there really are Newtown truthers.
But in the crazy world of Sandy Hook conspiracy theories, this one may be the worst yet. (Maybe you’ve already heard some of the others, like the one about fantasy ties between the gunman’s family and the LIBOR banking scandal and a related theory about the Aurora shooting and the “Dark Knight Rises.”) Most of the theories are really pieces of a larger meta-theory: that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, perhaps by the Obama administration, designed to stir demand for gun control.
In the latest angle, theorists think they have found “absolute proof” of a conspiracy to defraud the American people. “You reported in December that this little girl had been killed,” a reader emailed Salon in response to a story. “She has been found, and photographed with President Obama.”
The girl in question is Emilie Parker, a 6-year-old who was shot multiple times and killed at Sandy Hook. But for conspiracy theorists, the tears her family shed at her funeral, the moving eulogy from Utah’s governor, and the entire shooting spree are fake. Welcome to the world where Sandy Hook didn’t really happen.
There are dozens of websites, blog posts and YouTube videos extolling the Emilie Parker hoax theory. If you Google her name, the very first result is a post mocking her father for crying at a press conference after the shooting. One popular video, which already has 134,000 views, was made by the producers of a popular 9/11 Truther film. “Just as the movie ‘Operation Terror’ shows the 9/11 attacks were a made-for-TV event, so too were the mass shootings … There can be no doubt that Sandy Hook was a staged event,” the narrator intones. He goes on to say that the adults who participated in the media coverage of the shootings “should be prosecuted as accessories after the fact in a mass murder” — i.e., the parents whose children were murdered in the massacre should be thrown in prison.
The next right wing freakout isn’t hard to predict, as the Obama administration starts putting out feelers to see if America’s ready to do something about its insanely out-of-control addiction to guns: White House Weighs Broad Gun-Control Agenda in Wake of Newtown Shootings.
The White House is weighing a far broader and more comprehensive approach to curbing the nation’s gun violence than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition, according to multiple people involved in the administration’s discussions.
A working group led by Vice President Biden is seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the sources said.
To sell such changes, the White House is developing strategies to work around the National Rifle Association that one source said could include rallying support from Wal-Mart and other gun retailers for measures that would benefit their businesses. White House aides have also been in regular contact with advisers to New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), an outspoken gun-control advocate who could emerge as a powerful surrogate for the Obama administration’s agenda.
The Biden group, formed last month after the massacre at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that killed 20 children and six adults, plans to submit a package of recommendations to President Obama this month. Once Obama’s proposals are set, he plans to lead a public-relations offensive to generate popular support.
“They are very clearly committed to looking at this issue comprehensively,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, who has been involved in the discussions. The proposals under consideration, he added, are “a deeper exploration than just the assault-weapons ban.”
What sort of person reacts to the horrible mass murder in Newtown by rushing out to a gun show and buying the same assault rifle used by Adam Lanza to slaughter 26 people?
Answer: a whole lot of right wingers: Gun Enthusiasts Pack Shows to Buy Assault Weapons.
Gun enthusiasts thronged to shows around the country on Saturday to buy assault weapons they fear will soon be outlawed after a massacre of school children in Connecticut prompted calls for tighter controls on firearms.
Reuters reporters went to gun shows in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Texas, and found long lines to get in the door, crowds around the dealer booths, a rush to buy assault weapons even at higher prices and some dealers selling out.
The busiest table at the R.K. Gun & Knife show at an exposition center near the Kansas City, Missouri airport was offering assault weapons near the entrance. West Plains, Missouri dealer Keith’s Guns sold out of about 20 AR-15 style assault rifles in a little over an hour, owner Keith Gray said.
An AR-15 type assault weapon was among the guns authorities believe suspect Adam Lanza stole from his mother to use in the massacre of 20 school children and six adults at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school on December 14.
I’m not here to convince you that we need gun control, because over the next few months there are going to be huge choruses of people calling for that. Instead I’m here to convince you — meaning you personally — that you don’t need a gun. You won’t even really want a gun if you spend some time on the facts.
Though you might have various reasons for wanting a firearm, those rationalizations do not measure up against the cold facts or the questions I’m going to pose below if you spend some time to really think about them.
As this post points out, if you create another gun scare then you sell more guns. This makes Wayne Lapierre the biggest industry gun pimp in the US, because he’s now created another run on AR’s. It’s basic human psych 101 - you can create demand by falsely amplifying fears while at the same time creating a sense of scarcity or depletion of the item you are selling.
There are a few questions underneath these sales that everyone with a firearm or who might be considering a firearm purchase really needs to ask themselves that I will get to in bit. First however I’ve got to be master of the obvious.
The US has about 83-87 firearm deaths on average every single day if you look back a decade to present. There are between 8-11,000 homicides with firearms every year, but there are about double that number of people ending their own lives through firearm suicide.
Besides the 8-11,000 homicides every year (on average about 31 per day in 2009) Two Thirds of all firearm deaths are suicides (18,735 in 2009, or an average of 51 per day.) People killing themselves with their own firearms or borrowed firearms comprise 6 out of every 10 suicides in this country, or about triple the number for suicide by suffocation (the category that slicing arteries open falls under.)
Whether you are a firearm owner, or are a prospective buyer these homicide and suicide death stats are ones you need to think long and hard about. Chances are pretty good that you know someone who is either depressed, mentally unstable, a substance abuser, or who is just going through a very rough time — even if it’s not you that I am describing.
If those people end their lives with your rifle or handgun how are you going to feel? If they borrow or steal your assault rifle (and most mass killing are committed with legally obtained weapons or borrowed legal guns,) and end up putting several bullets each into a large group of people or students like the Newton massacre, how’s that going to affect you?
What are the real chances of you having to use your gun in self defense?
What are the chances of really needing an AR because of societal collapse?
Both of those chances are much less than you might think, and the chances of homicide, suicide, and accidental deaths from firearms are much greater than the average person realizes. Right now they are tracking almost even with automobile deaths, and we all know someone who has died in a car wreck.
If you are older than 20 chances are pretty good that you can name several people who you knew or were acquainted with growing up who are now dead from firearms. Chances are slim that you can name a real person that you know who’s driven off a zombie attack, blue helmets, or even a home burglary with a firearm.
Please think before you buy, there are better things you could use that money for, and if you own a firearm please do the sane, rational thing and consider removing it from circulation. Don’t do it for political reasons, do it because you care, do it because you care about yourself, your family, your friends, and your fellow citizens. I’m really writing this for my friends and family who are still in Alaska - where they lead the pack in firearm deaths per capita.
If Black Friday shopping trends are any indication, the gift of cold, hard steel will be more popular than ever this holiday season. According to USA Today, on that day dealers called the FBI with a total of 154,873 background check requests for shoppers seeking to buy firearms. That’s 20 percent more than last year’s record of 129,166 calls in one day. Sixty-two percent of the Black Friday requests were for long guns like shotguns or rifles, such as the Bushmaster .223 reportedly used by the suspect in today’s shooting in Newtown, Connecticut (a state where you don’t need a permit to carry a rifle).
The FBI doesn’t keep track of guns sold—only the background requests it fields—but that number is almost certainly higher than the number of calls received, given that consumers can buy more than one firearm per request. Overall, background requests have jumped 32 percent since 2008 (PDF). As Bloomberg Businessweek pointed out, gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson reported a record number of sales for their last quarter, up nearly 50 percent from the year before. The rise in gun sales doesn’t necessarily mean that there are more first-time gun owners, though: A CNN investigation in July showed that fewer people own more and more weapons.
Data from a US mortality follow-back survey were analyzed to determine whether having a firearm in the home increases the risk of a violent death in the home and whether risk varies by storage practice, type of gun, or number of guns in the home. Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death. The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). Persons with guns in the home were also more likely to have died from suicide committed with a firearm than from one committed by using a different method (adjusted odds ratio = 31.1, 95% confidence interval: 19.5, 49.6). Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.