Tag Archives | NRA

Torture Okayed Through Pop Culture

Diverse torture instruments.

Diverse torture instruments.

Noah Berlatsky analyzes how pop culture (movies, comic books, television) makes torture “ok.” He writes that “Torture, pop culture says, is effective, fun, and even funny.”

Noah Berlatsky writes at Splice Today:

In Frank Miller’s influential 1986 series The Dark Knight Returns, Batman drags an unconscious perpetrator up to a rooftop, and hangs him upside down with his eyes covered. When the bad guy wakes up, Batman begins to question him, and then uncovers the guy’s eyes. Hundreds of feet above the city, the bad guy starts to scream in terror, prompting our hero to ruminate smugly about how much fun he’s having.

Last year, in the film Olympus Has Fallen, the American agent played by Gerard Butler stabbed a North Korean bad guy in the knee to get him to talk. The audience at the preview I attended cheered enthusiastically.

Last weekend at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, Sarah Palin declared to an enthusiastic audience that the current administration is too nice to jihadists.

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Michael Bloomberg, Colorado, Republicans, Rolling Stone … and the NRA

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg at Midtown Comics2There’s a storm in the proverbial tea cup surrounding a story about Michael Bloomberg and the National Rifle Association (NRA) that was due to be published by Rolling Stone on Monday, July 14 but was posted early then yanked offline. It has stirred not a little controversy as the Republican former Mayor of New York City bashes the NRA and refers to some conservative areas of Colorado as being so rural they don’t have roads. Google has a cached version of the article from which this excerpt is sourced:

Tell me why you’re still fighting for better gun laws even after leaving office as mayor.
I and the foundation are trying to save lives. Particularly, I want the foundation to focus on things that other people aren’t focusing on. So we took on smoking. We’re working on obesity. Polio, [Bill] Gates is really the spearhead, but we’ve given him a lot of money.

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Shooting Elephants In the Face: Well-Done, Alot of Fun

Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

Just when you thought you couldn’t hate the NRA any more comes this video from Under Wild Skies, an NRA-sponsored, so-called sports show being inexplicably aired by NBC, in which tough guy, Indiana Jones-wannabee and NRA lobbyist Tony Makris bravely goes forth into Botswana to massacre an elephant – an act about to be but not quite yet illegal – finally downing it on the third shot by shooting it in the face and then gleefully gloating, after the suffering animal charged him, that “somebody got a little cheeky there.” There are two well-deserved petitions to cancel the show.

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The NRA’s Enemies List

Much to the delight of the liberal media, Wayne LaPierre and his equally juvenile pals at the National Rifle Association have published a list of their enemies. Here’s a link to the very poorly formatted list, and to save you the effort of going through it yourselves, here’s a sampler of some of the organizations they’ve identified:

  • AARP
  • American Medical Association
  • B`nai B`rith
  • National Black Nurses` Association
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National Spinal Cord Injury Association
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference
  • YWCA of the U.S.A

and some of the individuals:

  • Maya Angelou – Poet
  • Kevin Bacon – Actor
  • Richard Belzer – Actor
  • Jon Bon Jovi – Singer
  • Christie Brinkley – Model
  • Matt Damon – Actor
  • Geraldo – TV personality
  • Keyshawn Johnson – NFL player

and finally, Ed Koch, RIP.

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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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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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Amtrak To Allow Guns On Most Trains

Want to travel through the country with your firearms, but can’t get through airport security? No worries, take the train! Amtrak will soon allow passengers to transport their firearms, unloaded and stored away. The Sacramento Bee reports:

Reversing a near decadelong ban, Amtrak will allow passengers to bring guns on most trains starting next month, including several that stop in Sacramento.

The change, pushed by gun rights advocates and ordered by Congress, aligns Amtrak’s firearms policy with air travel rules that allow unloaded guns to be stored in locked baggage holds.

Federal Homeland Security officials on Monday said they are OK with guns being on trains as long as security protocols are enforced.

“It’s deemed safe and appropriate,” federal Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez said. “If people follow the rules, it’s pretty simple.”

[Continues at The Sacramento Bee]

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