Category Archives: Guns/Gun Laws

VATech: Dying to Protect the Crazies (Updated)

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(Cartoon by Jim Borgman)

Scott Horton, Harper’s worthy answer to Salon‘s Glenn Greenwald, quotes some of the European press on the VATech shooting. Unlike the coverage here, it ain’t about immigration or Cho’s anger or the school’s slow response or the heartbreaking stories of the victims’ lives. It’s about one thing: the guns. Excerpts:

Hamburg’s Der Spiegel runs a summary of press reactions across Europe and finds that Charlton Heston and the NRA are repeatedly singled out as responsible for the tragedy. “The shooting at Virginia Tech is the result of America’s woeful lack of serious gun control laws.

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Madrid’s El País, puts the blame squarely on the National Rifle Association and reproduces a photograph of Charlton Heston brandishing a rifle. “[C]ontrol measures,“ writes that paper, ”are systematically challenged by an abusive interpretation of the Second Amendment….”

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The conservative London Times writes “But why, we ask, do Americans continue to tolerate gun laws and a culture that seems to condemn thousands of innocents to death every year, when presumably, tougher restrictions, such as those in force in European countries, could at least reduce the number?”

Horton, a lawyer, concludes:

Around the world, America is being portrayed as a land of wanton violence, obsessed with firearms—as the locus of a bizarre death cult. The grounds for this are not simply what happened at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School, but the way the American public has reacted to these tragedies.

Or not reacted. Despite the furor after Columbine, absolutely NOTHING was done to control the sale of deadly weapons. The Pub Congress refused to extend the assault weapons ban, and even relatively painless strengthening of gun registration laws were rejected practically without discussion. In fact, gun laws have actually been loosened in the 12 years of Republican rule.

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Wingnut Response to VATech Shootings

It was inevitable, I suppose. Expect a lot more of this for a few days.

That said, how much of this killers rage was indoctrinated at the very campus on which he took out his rage. When professors teach students to hate everything around them they are learning evil.

 

Just to clarify the killer was in the English program and liberal professors are known for teaching hate.

 

Do You Know Where Your Uzi Is?

Despite a nationwide effort and widespread support from all sides of the political spectrum, assault weapons will be back on our streets as of Monday. Congressional Republicans, some of whom apparently like to go out and shoot things with them, are refusing to extend the ban, caving in to the NRA like the craven cowards they are.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 – Despite widespread popular support, the federal law banning the sale of 19 kinds of semiautomatic assault weapons is almost certain to expire on Monday, the result of intense lobbying by the National Rifle Association and the complicated election-year politics of Washington.

While President Bush has expressed support for legislation extending the ban and has said he would sign it into law, he has not pressured lawmakers to act, leading critics to accuse him of trying to have it both ways.

Efforts to renew the ban, which polls show is supported by at least two-thirds of Americans, have faltered this year on Capitol Hill. Democrats are well aware that they lost control of the House of Representatives in 1994, the year President Bill Clinton signed the original legislation, and have shied away from the issue of gun control, while Republican leaders have opposed the ban.

“I think the will of the American people is consistent with letting it expire, so it will expire,” Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, said on Wednesday.

The House majority leader, Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, dismissed the ban as “a feel-good piece of legislation” and said flatly that it would expire Monday, even if Mr. Bush made an effort to renew it.

“If the president asked me, it would still be no,” Mr. DeLay said.

The NRA will get its way once again and more people–maybe kids like the last time–will have to die before these chickenshit bastards will be forced to consider it again.

If you didn’t have enough reasons to vote against this radical Republican party efore, this ought to be the clincher.

Fight the Death of the Assault Weapons Ban

Tom Mauser, the father of one of the kids killed in Columbine, is generating an online petition to try to force the Bush Administration to support extending the assault weapons ban. Here’s what his email said:

My name is Tom Mauser and my son Daniel was killed at Columbine High School. If we don’t stand up to President Bush and the NRA right now, the assault weapons ban will expire and AK47s and Uzis will be back on our streets.Five years ago my 15-year-old son Daniel Mauser was one of 13 people killed at Columbine High School by two students. One of them used an illegal assault weapon.

The national Assault Weapons Ban automatically expires at the end of the summer. Congress must renew this ban or military-style assault weapons will be back on the street and available for sale in our neighborhoods. We cannot let this happen. We have to put pressure on Congress to ACT NOW.

Please take a moment to sign his petition. This man lost a son to the NRA’s gun fetish. That’s too high a price to pay. Please help.

The NRA Will Get Their Uzis

The Republican Congress is going to let the ban on assault weapons expire. Mark Morford on getting Bush out from under another promise:

Isn’t that great? To hell with logic and to hell with your kids’ safety and to hell with even trying to prevent moron gangbangers and terrorist wanna-bes and imbecilic white supremacists from easily getting their hands on a nice AK-47 that can mow down a schoolyard full of tots in 10 seconds flat. Instead: Down with liberal scum who would take away our God-given right to bear nasty ultraviolent weaponry that no one anywhere can justify the existence of. Go, NRA!What, too sarcastic? Well, hold onto your sides, because it gets even funnier. Even little gun-lovin’ Bushie himself declared during the 2000 campaign that he actually supported an extension of the ban (pretty hard, even for Shrub, to defend Uzis in the wake of Columbine and 101 California, et al.), a law that outlaws 19 types of insidiously lethal weaponry, the very guns most highly prized by jittery meth-lab owners and killing-spree advocates and homophobic militia members deep in the Montana woods. Oh, and also by upstanding, white-bread NRA members. Oh my yes. They need assault weapons. Must have them. Or so they claim.

But Bush, he is just so happy. He won’t have to see that bill at all. He won’t have to sign a thing before the election and risk annoying the Bible-quotin’ gun lovers of America. The NRA lobby will kill it before he even has to try to pronounce the phrase “high school gun rampage.” Oh man is he ever relieved.

Because to the NRA, the rule is absolute: No gun law is a good gun law, and any ban of any kind is a slippery slope (always, always a slippery slope) until the government stomps in and takes away all your rights to do anything fun at all, and so screw the painfully obvious, skull-crushingly sad fact that allowing assault weapons back into the culture is the equivalent of allowing, say, convicted rapists loose in a sorority house.

How much do terrorists and murderers owe the Pubs? Let us count the ways….

Mark Fiore: Land of the Gun


Mark Fiore: Land of the Gun

Protecting Gun Dealers

In yet another brilliant move by the Bush policy team working in close conjunction with Congressional Republicans and at the behest of the NRA, the GOP leadership is pushing a bill that would protect gun dealers by giving them a priori immunity from any potential lawsuits that might arise because they got sloppy about who they sold a WPD (weapon of personal destruction) to. What a good idea. They’ve just alienated, practically in toto, one of their largest constuencies–cops.

The police officials’ campaign began last week when Chief William J. Bratton of the Los Angeles Police Department held a news conference there denouncing the bill. Chief Bratton and 80 other police officials then signed a letter to the Senate expressing their opposition. At the same time, a full-page advertisement featuring a photograph of Chief Bratton and paid for by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence appeared in The Washington Post.The advertisement is expected to appear soon in other major newspapers and on television, and Chief Bratton, the former New York City police commissioner, said he would go to Washington to lobby senators.

The campaign is supported by the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which represents the chiefs of police in the 50 largest cities.

“To give gun manufacturers and dealers immunity from lawsuits is crazy,” Chief Bratton said in a telephone interview.

“If you give them immunity,” he added, “what incentive do they have to make guns with safer designs, or what incentive do the handful of bad dealers have to follow the law when they sell guns?”

Good questrions, don’t you think? The article doesn’t mention them (as it doesn’t mention that the majority of votes for it are Republican or that it’s being pushed by the Republican “leadership”) but the Police Unions aren’t too thrilled about this bill, either. To them what it means is more dead cops, and they’re against that. Go figure.

The NRA says Bratton’s over-reacting. Lloyd Cutler says he isn’t.

One lawsuit that could be jeopardized by the immunity bill has been brought by the families of eight of the people killed in the Washington-area sniper shootings. That suit, filed against Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply, the gun shop in Tacoma, Wash., where the snipers’ Bushmaster XM-15 rifle originated, and against the manufacturer, is scheduled for trial this fall.According to an opinion written by Lloyd N. Cutler, a Washington lawyer who was just named by President Bush to the panel that will investigate intelligence failures before the war in Iraq, “The bill, if enacted, would require dismissal.”

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Mr. Cutler said the bill would lead to dismissal of the suit because neither Bull’s Eye nor Bushmaster violated a federal or state law in connection with the rifle, as would be required by the immunity bill. Although Bull’s Eye was found by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to have lost 238 guns from its inventory, with no record of them being sold, the only evidence about how the snipers got the rifle was a statement by one, Lee Malvo, that he shoplifted the gun. (emphasis added)

This would be criminal negligence in any other industry, but the NRA–the most powerful special interest in Washington–wants these perps protected, so their Publican Puppets are dutifully on the case.

Feel safer now, do you? No, me neither.

The good news is that the Bush team has just alienated yet another section of its core constituency. So how much of it do they have left, you think? 50%? 30? If they keep pissing their own people off at this rate, by November the only conservatives left to vote for them will be…them.

Go team.