Tag Archive: NRA

Mar 12 2018

Trump Flips and Flops on Gun Control

Up Date: 16:15 ET In the White House Press Conference this afternoon, Sara Sanders claimed Trump backed down on age limits for gun sales because there isn’t enough support to pass the legislation. However, according to Politico/Morning Consult poll: most gun control proposals — including those opposed by a large share of Republicans in Congress …

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Oct 02 2015

They Need to Do More Than Pray

The mass shooting yesterday at a small community college in Roseberg, Oregon, took the lives of nine people and the gunman, despite the fact that there were students in nearby classrooms who were carrying guns themselves. Despite arguments by gun activists, that didn’t deter or stop the shooter until police arrived. This has become routine in the United States to the point that it should be considered an epidemic. This latest mass murder is the 994th since the mass murder of 26 students and teachers in Sandy Hook, Connecticut in December, 2012. There have been nearly 300 shooting that have taken four or more lives, the FBI criteria for a mass shooting, so far in this year alone. In the face of these horrific statistics what have our government representatives done? Nothing except pray and criticize anyone calling for better gun control laws as politicizing the lives of the victims.

It is not just mass shootings that are the problem:

While conservatives are busying trying to shutdown any debate on gun control following the 45th school shooting this year by yelling about Chicago’s murder rates – apparently unaware that Chicago is the third largest city in the country but not even in the top five cities with the highest murder rate per capita – and reflexively decrying any mention of gun control as a “gun grab,” what if we just entertained their wildest conspiracy theories for just a bit?

A 2015 study found that when guns are used to kill people in the United States, they are overwhelmingly used for murder rather than self-defense. That study found that in 2012, there were only 259 justifiable homicides, or what is commonly referred to as self-defense, compared to 8,342 criminal firearm homicides. In 2008-2012, the report says, guns were used in 42,419 criminal homicides and only 1,108 justifiable homicides.

We are told by pundits and politicians that nothing can be done because of the Second Amendment. That is pure nonsense. Laws requiring strict licensing and ban on ownership of certain weapons, such as semi-automatic assault type weapons, have been on the books in cities like New York for years and have withstood court challenges. Tightening the sale of guns at guns shows and by individuals without adequate regulation and background checks of the buyers needs to be made federal law. Requiring a person to demonstrate that they are qualified to own the weapon they are buying by showing that they have attended classes in safety and handling by a certified instructor would go a long way in curbing some of the accidental incidents as well.

The idea pushed by the NRA and gun manufacturers that better and smarter gun laws won’t make a difference is a myth. Just look what Australia did after a mass shooting that took 35 lives in 1996. They passed 12 new gun laws and regulations within days after the shooting:

The National Firearms Agreement and Buyback Program, as the package of legislation was called, prohibited the sale of shotguns as well as semiautomatic and self-loading rifles. Waiting periods and safety courses became mandatory for new gun owners and limits on the sale of ammunition were imposed.

Most importantly, perhaps, the legislation allocated $250 million for a gun buyback program, allowing for newly outlawed rifles and shotgun to be destroyed by the Australian government. Ultimately more than 640,000 firearms were either purchased by the Australian government or voluntarily handed in.

And it worked.

In the years after the Port Arthur massacre, gun-related homicides decreased 7.5 percent per year while suicide by gun dropped by a whopping 80 percent (pdf) until the the risk of dying by gunshot in Australia fell by more than 50 percent in the decade following the attacks.

It didn’t completely stop the incidents but there have only been six people killed in mass shooting since the laws were passed.

America could do the same if we demand it of our elected officials but first end Americas obsession with guns to debunk the myths of the NRA and gun nuts that guns keep us safer. They don’t.

Full disclosure: I am a licensed gun owner.

Apr 22 2013

Sunday April 21, 2013: Up with Steve Kornacki Tweets

As you know MSNBC deicded to do disaster porn instead of #Uppers yesterday for whatever stupid reason after everything was over. Just for fun since the #Uppers stream was as pissed as I was, I am going to share some of my tweets about that in addition to today's tweets. Yesterday's tweets first.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

Dec 23 2012

Rant of the Week: Lawrence O’Donnell

The NRA’s solution to the gun violence in this country is more guns.

NRA’s LaPierre A ‘Lobbyist For Mass Murderers’

   “So today, the NRA announced that it has a solution. Complete solution to gun violence in America, mass murders in America. Their solution is the national school shield program, a police officer with a gun in every school.

   Now, he didn`t announce a national movie theater shield program with a police officer in every movie theater in America. Wayne LaPierre has in fact never spoken one word about 6-year-old Veronica Moser Sullivan, who was murdered in that movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, along with 11 other people, and 58 wounded, 58.

   All of that, death and savagery was delivered from an ammunition delivery system so big it isn`t called a magazine. It`s called a drum. It holds 100 rounds.

   Wayne LaPierre is the lobbyist who made it possible for the mass murderer in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater to be able to shoot and kill and wound so many people without reloading even once.

   The law Senator Dianne Feinstein pushed through Congress in 1994 made large capacity ammunition delivery systems illegal. Wayne LaPierre made them legal 10 years ago. Wayne LaPierre made no public statement whatsoever after the movie theater mass murder.

   After that mass murder, so successfully used the weapon systems that Wayne LaPierre made available to him. Instead, Wayne LaPierre simply sent out a letter, a letter asking for money, asking for contributions to the NRA over and above dues. And as with every solicitation of money Wayne LaPierre has ever made, he lied to every poor fool who fell for it.

   He said in his letter asking for money, quote, “Nothing less than the future of our country and our freedom will be at stake.”

   Wayne LaPierre did not announce today a national shopping mall parking lot shield program, because Wayne LaPierre has no suggestion about how to prevent or even in some way inhibit, maybe just somehow reduce the possibility of what happened to 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, who was murdered because she chose to stand in a parking lot in Tucson, Arizona, and listen to her Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

   Wayne LaPierre is all for having a police officer protect 9-year-old girls in school, but anywhere else a 9-year-old goes in America, a movie theater, a shopping mall, she is on her own. And we know now, she is on her own against the best equipped mass murderers in the history of the human race.

   That`s right. We`re number one. USA, USA, we`re number one. No country in the world has better equipped mass murderers than the United States of America. And that is thanks to the lifetime work of Wayne LaPierre.

   Every day since 1977, Wayne LaPierre has been making sure that mad men in America can fire any gun they want, and any bullet they want, at any children they want, at any teachers, at police officers, at the president.

   The solution Wayne LaPierre suggested today to stop school shootings has already been tried in many places across America, including Columbine High School, where 13 years ago 12 students and one teacher were shot dead. Columbine High School had an armed sheriff`s deputy at the school that day and every day prior to that. But when the moment came, the deputy could do something to stop the mass murders.

   There was a good guy with a gun in the parking lot in Tucson when the madman there opened fire on Gabby Giffords and the men and women and children in the parking lot. But the good guy with the gun could do nothing to stop what was happening because he realized he could not get off a clean shot. A shot that he couldn`t be sure would not kill one of the innocent bystanders.

   Stuck in the middle of Wayne LaPierre`s speech today was his bottom line. He said that gun and ammunition control advocates, quote, “perpetuates the notion that one more gun ban and one more law imposed on peaceable, lawful people will protect us.”

   So there is Wayne LaPierre saying that he is opposed to anymore laws. Not one more law, not a law banning the 100-round ammunition drum that was used in the Colorado movie theater. Not a law banning the 30-round ammunition magazines used in Sandy Hook Elementary.

   Not a law banning assault weapons. Not a law tightening access to ammunition. Not any kind of law that would make it in any way even slightly more difficult for a mad man to obtain the very best tools in the world for up close mass murder. Not one more law.

   It is now impossible to count how many people Wayne LaPierre owes an apology to. There are all of those who have been killed by weapons that became available after he made sure the assault weapons ban would not be renewed. There are the parents of the dead, the brothers and sisters of the dead, the children of the dead.

   And then there are millions — truly, millions and millions more, because in his most vile fundraising letter before the last presidential election, Wayne LaPierre actually said this about what would happen if Barack Obama was reelected president of the United States. Quote, “The night of November 6th, 2012, you and I will lose more on the election battlefield than our nation has lost in any battle any time, anywhere.”

   There is Wayne LaPierre claiming on election night that he, who of course avoided service in the war of his era, the Vietnam War, that he lost more on election night this year than, quote, “on any battlefield in the history of our nation.” Wayne LaPierre lost more on election night than 1.3 million Americans who have lost their lives in war.

   He lost more than the relatives and the descendents of those 1.3 million Americans. He lost more than all the amputees, double amputees, brain-damaged amputees that our wars have produced.

   How could Wayne LaPierre ever, ever find the words to deliver an adequate apology for that filthy insult to the American war dead, and to those of us who have lost loved ones in war? Those of us who have lost loved ones in the war that Wayne LaPierre personally avoided service in.

   Of course, there are no words. No words. And the apology will never come, and we can now see through that psychotically self-centered statement that Wayne LaPierre made, quote, “I will lose more on the election battlefield than our nation has lost in any battle, any time, anywhere” — we now see that the mind that could shape that sentence is almost, almost as twisted, almost as damaged as the minds of the mass murderers Wayne LaPierre keeps supplied so well in America.”

h/t Diane Sweet at Crooks and Liars for the full transcript

Apr 15 2012

Rant of the Week: Rachel Maddow

NRA Conference Undercuts Gun Violence

Rachel Maddow reports on Mitt Romney’s confused attacks against President Obama at Friday’s NRA Conference in St. Louis. Rachel also talked with Pittsburgh councilman Ricky Burgess about the conversation the country should be having about gun violence and the need for tighter gun control laws

Andrew Rosenthal: Keep, Bear and Use

The modern drive against gun control started with an expansive interpretation of the Second Amendment as bestowing an absolute, individual right to “keep” and “bear” arms, rather than a societal right based on the need for a “well-regulated militia.”

But we are now in a new and dangerous phase of the gun movement, in which extremists led by the National Rifle Association are pushing beyond “keep” and “bear” to “use.” They are pressing state and federal lawmakers to make it easier for people to shoot other people. [..]

They certainly will not discuss these statistics, compiled by the Violence Policy Center, on the homicide rate for African Americans, which is more than three times the overall homicide rate. The overwhelming majority of victims are killed by guns, and the majority of those are killed by handguns. Missouri leads the nation in this appalling statistic.

Missouri Leads Nation in Black Homicide Victimization for Second Year in a Row

Washington, DC–Missouri leads the nation in the rate of black homicide victimization for the second year in a row according to a new analysis of unpublished Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC).

The annual study, “Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2009 Homicide Data,” (http://www.vpc.org/studies/blackhomicide12.pdf) uses 2009 data–the most recent data available from the FBI–and ranks the 50 states according to their black homicide victimization rates. The study found overwhelmingly that firearms, usually handguns, were the weapon of choice in the homicides.

Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children’s Defense Fund: What a Difference a Gun Makes

On April 16, 2007, our nation suffered its deadliest shooting incident ever by a single gunman when a student killed 32 people and wounded 25 others at Virginia Tech before committing suicide. Five years later, have we learned anything about controlling our national gun and gun violence epidemic? A look at just a few of the sad headlines across the country so far this year suggests we haven’t learned much or anything at all. [..]

As a nation we can’t afford to keep waiting for common-sense gun control laws that would protect our children and all of us from indefensible gun violence. It’s time to repeal senseless gun laws like the “Stand Your Ground” laws enacted by 21 states that have grabbed so much attention in Trayvon’s case and allow people in Florida to defend themselves with deadly force anytime and anywhere if they feel threatened. More than two million people have signed online petitions saying they want to repeal these laws. It’s time to require consumer safety standards and childproof safety features for all guns and strengthen child access prevention laws that ensure guns are stored safely and securely to prevent unnecessary tragedies like those in Washington state. And in a political environment where the too-secretive and powerful advocacy group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) pushed “Stand Your Ground” laws in other states along with other “model bills” that benefit some corporate bottom lines or special interests like the NRA, it’s time for all of ALEC’s corporate sponsors to walk away from enabling or acquiescing in destructive laws that protect guns, not children.

It’s a tragedy that five years after Virginia Tech so little has changed. How many years must we wait until tragic headlines about school shootings, children dying, and people using the “shoot first and ask questions later” defense to take the law into their own hands go away? When will we finally get the courage to stand up as a nation and say enough to the deadly proliferation of guns and gun violence that endanger children’s and public safety?

When?