Tag Archives | Gun Control

Car Crash TV: Piers Morgan Versus Alex Jones

CNN's ratings have been truly terrible in the last few years, so recently parent company Time Warner decided to make NBC reject Jeff Zucker the new head of the network, presumably to bring back the crowds. Whether or not it was Zucker who decided that the answer to the network's boring programming was to invite Texas radio host Alex Jones onto Piers Morgan's evening show I don't know, but it certainly made for some compelling viewing. Who do you think came off worst?
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Deporting Piers Morgan

There are plenty of stories about the WhiteHouse.gov petition to have Piers Morgan deported (66,000+ at latest count as I write), but none that I have seen discusses whether or not the United States government could deport the television personality just for making on-air remarks that gun-loving Americans deem unpatriotic (or worse). Any suggestions as to legal theories for possible grounds for kicking our poor old Piers? For those of you not yet familiar with the controversy, here's some video of his comments followed by Politico's report:
CNN anchor Piers Morgan isn’t benefiting from much Christmas cheer, at least according to one measure: The number of signers on a petition urging the White House to deport Morgan has skyrocketed by late Tuesday afternoon to nearly 66,000 names...
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Hey NRA, How Dare You?

Wayne LaPierre._Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC)

Gretchen Whitmer, State Senator for Michigan, says what the vast majority of Americans believe, writing at Huffington Post. NRA members, listen up and take back your organization from the lunatics running your asylum.

Barely more than an hour after our nation took a moment of silence on Friday to reflect on the tragic events that took place in Newtown, Connecticut, the National Rifle Association ended their organization’s own silence by telling us that the mindless violence we saw is simply now a part of life. They said that it was Hollywood’s fault that incidents like these happen and that the only way we can hope to keep our children safe as a result is to keep them surrounded by more and more guns.

As a mom who holds the safety and happiness of my two girls above all else, I have only one response to NRA President Wayne LaPierre: How dare you?

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Ignoring Warnings Can Be Fatal

Stöwer Titanic2012 has been the l00th anniversary of the famous Titanic disaster. The Captain of that “unsinkable” ship was warned that there were icebergs ahead but he was too busy, out to set a speed record on the way to New York.

The warnings were ignored and we know what happened. What we don’t know is why other urgent warnings go unheeded.

Take the repeated warnings that the easy availability of hand guns and assault rifles would lead to more massacres of innocents. The National Rifle Association operates with impunity (even as it bans weapons in its offices.)

When action is not taken, you increase the likelihood of more deadly incidents like the ones in malls and even elementary schools.

Take the predictions of a storm surge tied to climate change threatening the New York/New Jersey coastline. They were acknowledged but downplayed because right-wingers and their think tanks spent a decade in bogus quibbling about “junk” science.… Read the rest

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Obama Pays Lip Service to Gun Control While Doing Little to Actually Promote It

Photo courtesy of Arthurrh

The Christian Science Monitor has a great little article about President Obama’s lackluster attempts to actually control the proliferation of guns in the United States. As a matter of fact, Obama has quietly signed legislature expanding some gun rights during his tenure, including the right to carry firearms on Amtrack trains.

Since becoming president, Obama has been walking a fine line on guns. Even as he calls for better enforcement of existing laws, and mourns the victims of gun violence, he has also expanded gun rights. In 2009, for example, he signed legislation that allows the carrying of concealed weapons in national parks and another bill that allows people to carry guns in their checked bags on Amtrak trains.

Read more at the Christian Science Monitor.

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Print-on-Demand Assault Rifle

Photo Credit: HaveBlue

Via PopSci:

An amateur gunsmith known only as “HaveBlue” has earned the dubious distinction of ushering in the age of print-on-demand weapons. With only $30 in plastic and a commercially available 3-D printer HaveBlue succeeded in creating a fully functional assault rifle.

While there are still some details to sort out, it’s pretty clear that making weapons at home using 3-D printers from commonly available materials is going to become much more commonplace in the near future. In fact, as 3-D printing technology matures, materials feedstock improves, and designs for weapons proliferate, we might soon see the day when nearly everyone will be able to print the weapons of their choice in the numbers they desire, all within the privacy of their own homes.

Read more at PopSci.

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Colorado Gun Sales Shoot Upwards Following Batman Massacre

The lesson seemingly being drawn from the Aurora shooting is that it occurred because the public was not sufficiently armed. The Denver Post reports:

Background checks for people wanting to buy guns in Colorado jumped more than 41 percent after Friday morning’s shooting at an Aurora movie theater, and firearms instructors say they’re also seeing increased interest in the training required for a concealed-carry permit.

“It’s been insane,” Jake Meyers, an employee at Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo in Parker, said Monday. When he arrived at work Friday morning — just hours after a gunman killed 12 and injured 58 others at the Century Aurora 16 theater — there already were 15 to 20 people waiting outside the store, Meyers said.

Between Friday and Sunday, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation approved background checks for 2,887 people who wanted to purchase a firearm — a 43 percent increase over the previous Friday through Sunday.

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One Nation, Under The Gun

Houston Gun Show at the George R. Brown Convention CenterJill Lepore details the incredible number of guns in America, for the New Yorker:

…There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million handguns, a hundred and five million rifles, and eighty-three million shotguns. That works out to about one gun for every American…

The United States is the country with the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. (The second highest is Yemen, where the rate is nevertheless only half that of the U.S.) No civilian population is more powerfully armed. Most Americans do not, however, own guns, because three-quarters of people with guns own two or more. According to the General Social Survey, conducted by the National Policy Opinion Center at the University of Chicago, the prevalence of gun ownership has declined steadily in the past few decades. In 1973, there were guns in roughly one in two households in the United States; in 2010, one in three.

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The Black Panthers And The Right To Bear Arms

Big Man Elbert Howard Black Panther Party founding member oakland 1968The founding fathers of the modern “gun rights” movement in America was…the Black Panthers ?? Yes, or so the Atlantic argues in an interesting piece on the twisted, tangled history of firearm ownership in America:

The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement? The Black Panthers. In the battle over gun rights in America, both sides have distorted history and the law, and there’s no resolution in sight.

It was May 2, 1967, and the Black Panthers’ invasion of the California statehouse launched the modern gun-rights movement. On the west lawn of the state capitol in Sacramento 30 young black men and women [arrived] carrying .357 Magnums, 12-gauge shotguns, and .45-caliber pistols. The 24 men and six women climbed the capitol steps, and one man, Bobby Seale, began to read from a prepared statement.

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Millions Of ‘Mentally Ill’ People Missing From National Gun Check System

Photo: Lukáš Lahoda (CC)

Photo: Lukáš Lahoda (CC)

Just in case a convicted felon can’t get a gun on the black market, he may have a chance to obtain it legally. Raw Story reports:

The issue of gun control leapt back into the national discourse in the wake of January’s Tucson massacre.

But one of the most shocking gaps in the effort to prevent people prohibited by law from purchasing firearms continues to fly beneath the radar. Records of at least two million dangerously mentally ill individuals whose names should already be in the nation’s criminal background check system remain missing.

Tens of thousands of people’s records that would fall into other legally disqualifying categories in the background check system are also missing, with convicted felons high on the list. Yet Raw Story confirmed with experts on gun control that records of those whose mental illness has been legally determined to be a danger to themselves or others far outnumber the unreported information of individuals in other prohibiting categories.

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