Tag Archives | Gun Control

Texas: Neutering Democracy

All Texas
This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.

In Texas liberty trumps democracy.  The Texas Supreme Court itself says so.  In a recent decision, three of the five Justice majority bluntly declared. “(O)ur federal and state charters are not, contrary to popular belief, about ‘democracy’.”  They are about “liberty’s primacy.”

The Justices concluded the Texas Constitution gives primacy to liberty because of the sequence of wording “That the great, general and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established,” is how the Constitution begins.  The word “liberty” comes first.

Relying on the sequence of words to establish primacy could have gotten the Justices into trouble when it comes to the federal Constitution, a situation they adroitly finessed by quoting only part of the Preamble. “The federal Constitution, in the first sentence of the Preamble, declares its mission to ‘secure the Blessings of Liberty,”” opined the Justices.  But before securing liberty the Preamble lists several other objectives that would have primacy:  “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, (and) promote the general Welfare.”

Texas politicians love to sprinkle their orations with words like liberty and freedom but even they must concede that all societies establish formal and informal rules governing individual behavior and virtually all interfere to some degree with someone’s freedom of action.  … Read the rest

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People Are Getting Shot by Toddlers on a Weekly Basis This Year

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 12.44.52 PM

Christopher Ingraham writes at the Washington Post:

This week a 2-year-old in South Carolina found a gun in the back seat of the car he was riding in and accidentally shot his grandmother, who was sitting in the passenger seat. This type of thing happens from time to time: A little kid finds a gun, fires it, and hurts or kills himself or someone else. These cases rarely bubble up to the national level except when someone, like a parent, ends up dead.

But cases like this happen a lot more frequently than you might think. After spending a few hours sifting through news reports, I’ve found at least 43 instances this year of somebody being shot by a toddler 3 or younger. In 31 of those 43 cases, a toddler found a gun and shot himself or herself.

In August, for instance, a 21-month-old in the St.

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US Violence Breeds a Language of the Grotesque

'If the first casualty of war is truth, the second might be language.' (Image: via homedefensegun.net)

‘If the first casualty of war is truth, the second might be language.’ (Image: via homedefensegun.net)

This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.

Another week, another series of school and university shootings in the US, and another chance to hear phrases such as “active shooter” and “campus lockdown” repeated over and over by police, school administrators and journalists. These phrases – chilling in their clinicalness – are not only stark examples of the militarization of the language of everyday life, but also reminders of how the language used to describe actual US military aggression has been influenced by the neutral, image-conscious world of public relations.

What makes expressions such as “active shooter” and “campus lockdown” so disturbing is not just the regularity with which they are now uttered and written, but the huge disconnect between their militaristic tone and the contexts of their use. These are phrases you would associate with war, not university campuses dedicated to the enlightenment of our youngest residents.… Read the rest

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‘I’ll Show You Obscene’: Campus to Protest Concealed Guns with Unconcealed Dildos

This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.

The campus community at the University of Texas at Austin has found a creative way to protest the fact that soon they will be allowed to carry concealed guns—but not sex toys—on school grounds.

On August 24, 2016, soon after the gun law goes into effect, students and alumni will stage a Campus Dildo Carry in which they strap “gigantic swinging dildos to our backpacks in protest of campus [gun] carry.”

“ANYBODY can participate in solidarity: alum, non-UT students, people outside of Texas. Come one dildo, come all dildos,” states the event announcement. “You’re carrying a gun to class? Yeah well I’m carrying a HUGE DILDO.”

The “campus carry” bill, signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in June, mandates that, starting in August 2016, public universities will not be allowed to ban guns on campus.

In contrast, “obscene materials” are banned on school grounds, according to UT rules, which cite the Texas penal code.… Read the rest

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Why I Quit the NRA

Over at Time, Stan Stumbo, a retired Navy commander and marine engineer, writes about why he left the NRA.

via Time:

The organization is being irresponsible in addressing gun safety

I was a member of the National Rifle Association for more than 50 years. In 2012, I decided not to renew my membership.

But I strongly believe that being a responsible gun owner means supporting sensible laws to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people. This belief was cemented by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. The shooting in Oregon last week was another tragic reminder.

I feel that four things can help prevent such tragedies in the future. Requiring background checks on the state and federal level is the sensible first step. In addition, there should be penalties for officials of city, state and county governments who fail to enter people’s names in the database when they’re judged to be mentally ill, or a danger to themselves or others, or have convictions that would make them no longer eligible to own firearms.

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The Gun Debate: Too Much Emotion, Not Enough Data?

Stephen J. Dubner of Freakonomics fame thinks the United States would benefit from a National Firearms Safety Administration to collate firearms data, similar to how the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration handles transportation data. Dubner’s latest book is “When to Rob a Bank.”


One of the reasons that the gun debate in this country is so contentious is that there’s very little good data on who owns guns and what share of guns used in crimes are illegal guns. And part of the reason there’s not good data is because the debate is so contentious in the first place. But, you know, one proposal that I like a lot is to create kind of a national firearms safety administration, something like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, which collates transportation data.

So if we want to know about what really causes, you know, there’s still 30,000 to 35,000 traffic fatalities a year.… Read the rest

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How US gun control compares to the rest of the world

211/365: beware of 9mm.
The Charleston murders have renewed the sporadic debates over whether gun control might have prevented this latest of tragedies.

To quote President Obama the day after the shooting in the AME Church,

“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it.”

So far, however, the US has not done “something about it.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA), it seems, has so much power over politicians that even when 90% of Americans (including a majority of NRA members) wanted universal background checks to be adopted following the Newtown killings of 2012, no federal action ensued. Certainly, it’s unlikely that any useful legislation will emerge in South Carolina.

The NRA stranglehold on appropriate anti-crime measures is only part of the problem, though.… Read the rest

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Is domestic extremism a bigger threat than terrorism?

Some claim false flag event for whatever fever pitched purpose that fits snugly into whatever conspiracy “theory” flavor of the day/week/month/year. I won’t even go there, from my perspective that line of thinking for these events is a distraction and like a mental pacifier for people who do not want to admit that the universe is rudderless. I hate to burst bubbles, but random bad stuff does indeed happen sometimes. Others blame mental health, but in reality those with mental health issues are more likely to be a victim.

Often it’s the police doing the victimizing, but that is a whole other article. Many blame guns in some sort of odd anthropomorphizing mental gymnastics. There may be some truth that, but where there’s a will there’s a way. Perhaps we should be talking about anti-government groups/right-wing extremists and their online revisionist propaganda. The recent spree killer did claim he got his inspiration from online racist indoctrination.… Read the rest

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Here’s What Happens When You Open a Gun Store in the Middle of NYC

Guns on sale in New York? Unthinkable, right?

nyc guns store

The gun store on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.


Check out this PSA from Grey Advertising, via Adweek:

States United to Prevent Gun Violence and its agency, Grey New York, have teamed up for some truly hard-hitting PSAs, including 2013’s famous “Ed” spot, which won a Silver Lion in Film at Cannes. Now, they’ve moved on to a new tactic—a social experiment set in the real world.

They did what they’re calling “the unthinkable”—opened a real-looking gun store on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and invited first-time gun buyers to check it out, with hidden cameras rolling.

To create drama, they put disturbing tags on each weapon, indicating which models were used in particular mass shootings, unintentional shootings, homicides and suicides. Needless to say, the fresh-faced buyers end up looking rather pallid by the end, and aren’t quite as excited to head home with a firearm.

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The NRA vs Pediatricians

There is a public health crisis in America that doctors are not talking about. And not for lack of words. They are being gagged to say nothing. There is legislation in Florida and several other states that actually bans pediatricians from talking about basic gun safety with parents!

1.7 Million children in America live with an unlocked and loaded gun in their home. Every year, 140 children die because of accidental shootings.

Enough is enough.

The National Rifle Association and the gun companies will stop at nothing to make a profit off of the lives of our loved ones.

Help us expose the real NRA and the gun companies who finance them.

Share this video with the parent of a child you love. Help us work toward a world where gun safety is celebrated, not silenced in the name of profit. 

Thanks for all you do,

Robert Greenwald, President
Brave New Films

P.S.Read the rest

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