Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Too Mentally Disabled To Manage Your Affairs? Enjoy Your Guns Says Congress

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

More than 17 million people 65 and older own a firearm in the U.S. and many suffer from memory, thinking and judgment problems and Alzheimer’s disease say public health researchers. Hallucinations and “aggressiveness combined with a highly intimidating and lethal weapon like a firearm creates a particularly dangerous situation for the person with Alzheimer’s and his caretakers,” say researchers, even imperiling whole neighborhoods.

 

Now Congress has voted that Social Security recipients so impaired that they need help managing their own personal finances cannot be kept from buying guns– overturning one of Obama’s last executive orders. The order sought to address the many missing mental health records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)—estimated to be 19 out of 20. Federal law prohibits people suffering from a mental health issue from buying guns but, and it is a big but, states are not mandated to supply mental health records to federal authorities—sending them is voluntary.

 

 

Grasping at Straws

 

Many have observed with a pro-gun Congress, White House and Supreme Court, the gun lobby is running out of clarion calls to raise money and members and grasping at straws. Does anyone really believe the lack of “reciprocity” laws, guns in schools or too many silencer laws is the first step toward “confiscation”? Really?

 

Still, during the summer of 2015 with massacres at a Charleston church, Lafayette movie theater, Chattanooga recruitment stations and at a live news broadcast in Roanoke, the lead story on the NRA’s facebook was not the bloodshed (all by legal gun owners) but what it called the “largest gun grab in American history.”

 

The “Obama social security system plans to deny 4.2 million people the Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” screamed the NRA, capitalizing the phrase to Make It More Important. Denying people who cannot manage their own affairs and have dementia, schizophrenia, psychotic disorders and other problems guns is persecution screamed the NRA.

 

 

People with dementia, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s should have guns for the same reason people who have been hospitalized for mental illness, convicted felons, domestic abuse suspects and people on the No Fly and Terror Watch Lists should have guns: the NRA does not believe in “gratuitously tak[ing] away the rights of people because when you begin taking away the rights of people that you don’t like, that’s the slippery slope,” says NRA lobbyist Marion P. Hammer. “Don’t like?” How about “don’t trust with lethal weapons?”

 

Most mass shooters are known by their families and in their communities as mentally unbalanced yet they buy their guns legally, a list that includes the Orlando, Dallas, Baton Rouge, Tucson, Aurora, Fort Hood, Navy Yard, Santa Barbara, Charleston, Planned Parenthood, Chattanooga, Kalamazoo, Roanoke, Umpqua, and Lafayette murderers. The Fort Lauderdale airport murder suspect walked into an FBI field office and admitted hearing voices yet Alaska cops returned his gun to him. He had “gun rights” says the gun lobby and now…Congress.

 

 

President Trump—To Keep Us Safe Shouldn’t We Ban Terror Suspects On the No-Fly List From Legally Buying Guns in the U.S.?

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

by Elliot Fineman

CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council

 

 

February 1, 2017

 

President Trump, on June 15, four days after the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history in Orlando you tweeted, “I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no-fly list, to buy guns.” You were absolutely right. The “terrorist loophole” as the legality of terror suspects buying guns has been termed is a huge and constant threat to all Americans.

 

 

During your September 26 debate, five weeks after the massacre, you told Hillary Clinton “I agree with you,” and that “I think we have to look very strongly at no-fly lists and watch lists.” Again you were right. The “No Fly List,” maintained by the United States federal government’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) contains the names of an estimated 109,000 people. All these people cannot buy a plane ticket—they are considered too dangerous and too much of a threat—but they can legally buy any guns they want including assault weapons.

 

The “No Fly List” is a smaller version of the “Terror Watch List” estimated to include as many as 800,000 names. According to the Government Accountability Office, people on the Terrorist Watch List pass their background checks 91 percent of the time!

 

Blocking potential terrorists from entering this country as your immigration ban is designed to do does not protect us from suspected terrorist who are already in the country and can legally buy all the guns they want.

 

Despite the Orlando bloodshed, legislation to close the “terror loophole” failed in Congress and the nation still remains at great risk. It is a positive sign that a bill blocking anyone on federal terrorism watch lists from buying guns in Wyoming was introduced this week. “We need to do something about people who are going to attack us getting weapons to do it,” said co-sponsor Sen. James Anderson, R-Casper.

 

President Trump, to protect us from terrorist assaults please issue an an executive order closing the “terrorist loophole” today. You are the only one who can keep us safe.

 

 

Even About Silencers, the NRA Silences its Own Ranks

Monday, January 30th, 2017

 

Pity the poor NRA. With a solidly pro-gun Congress, White House and Supreme Court it can no longer scream the “government is going to take your guns” to raise money. In scrambling for ways gun owners are still oppressed it can’t come up with much more than “there are too many restriction around silencers.”

 

Not all its ranks agree. Responding to a graphic on the NRA Facebook page displaying how few crimes are committed with silencers, one supporter posted, “Those are silly stats. I try to support the NRA but really?…Alternately, it is reasonable to suggest that I should be allowed to purchase a RPG [Rocket-propelled grenade]. No crime in the USA has ever been committed with one. Therefore, they are safe to own.” Two other posters dared to agree.

 

But when another poster wrote “If all citizens could own what the military owned every major city in this country would make Iraq/Afghanistan look like a playground fight. You have to understand that not everyone is a law abiding gun owning citizen like you or me. We live in different times than the 1800s,” the bloodletting began

 

“Are you a Bloomberg employee in Hong Kong?” someone quickly retorted because the poster had an Asian last name. Others piled on.

 

Many have observed the gun lobby’s bully tactics against politicians and citizens who resist its agenda. But what it does to its own ranks is no better.

 

Remember what happened to outdoors personality and big game hunter Jim Zumbo when he wrote “Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons [black rifles] among our hunting fraternity. I’ll go so far as to call them ‘terrorist’ rifles. We don’t need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them,” in a 2007 blog?

 

Zumbo was termed a “turncoat” and stripped of his Outdoors Network TV show and position with Outdoor Life magazine. His TV show was restored only after he visited the ranch of NRA board member Ted Nugent to learn the beauty of so-called “black rifles” for hunting animals.

 

Zumbo even issued an unctuous recantation. “I’ll do all I can to educate others who are, or were, as ignorant as I was about ‘black’ rifles and the controversy that surrounds them,” he vowed. “My promise to you is that I’ll learn all I can about these firearms, and by the time this week is out, I’ll order one.”

 

 

In 2013, Guns & Ammo contributing editor, Dick Metcalf and magazine editor, Jim Bequette were fired over a column that contained a simple plea for mandatory gun-owner training. Gun lobby shock troops piled on. Making sure someone carrying a lethal weapon knows how to handle and shoot it is an infringement of the Second Amendment they hissed.

 

In an obsequious apology a month later, Bequette wrote that he thought the training column “would generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights” but was wrong. “I owe each and every reader a personal apology” he said. “Our commitment to the Second Amendment is unwavering.”

 

Savaging dissenters might have worked for the gun lobby when the government was “going to take your guns,” but will it fly now? Does any sane person believe silencer restrictions are the first step to “confiscation”?

Gun Lobby Thankful No One Remembers These Airport Shootings Before Fort Lauderdale

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

The Fort Lauderdale airport mass shooting in which five died and eight were injured has already been forgotten—except by the victims’ families.

 

Nor does anyone seem to remember that less than two months before it a gunman shot and killed the father of an NFL player at Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport. The man who was killed, Southwest Airlines employee Michael Winchester, father of Kansas City Chiefs long snapper James Winchester, was victim of “workplace violence” said police. Lloyd Dean Buie, a former Southwest Airlines employee apparently seeking revenge, was charged in the murder. Like the Fort Lauderdale airport shooter, Buie was a legal gun owner.

 

The gun lobby appreciates the public’s short memory in which mass shootings “just happen” like tornadoes or ice storms—and are quickly forgotten. Nothing to see here, says the gun lobby. No laws needed to keep innocent people from being shot in the airport and other public places. By the time the next airline passenger checks his firearm through and loads it on arrival like confessed airport murderer Esteban Santiago, the public will have forgotten Fort Lauderdale.

 

Three years ago there was another Fort Lauderdale-like airport shooting. On November 1, 2013, in Terminal 3 of the Los Angeles International Airport Paul Anthony Ciancia opened fire with a rifle, killing a U.S. government Transportation Security Administration officer and injuring several other people. Ciancia carried a note saying he wanted to kill TSA officers and asked people if they were with TSF before shooting.

 

Like the Fort Lauderdale shooting, passengers fled in a frenzy, hiding in the concourse area and running for street exits. Ciancia was carrying a semiautomatic .223-caliber Smith & Wesson M&P-15 rifle, five 30-round magazines and hundreds of additional rounds of ammunition contained in boxes, said news reports. Due to the weaponry, police could not let paramedics enter the crime area and as a result TSA Officer Gerardo I. Hernandez, age 39, bled to death. Seven Ciancia victims were later treated at the scene.

 

Like Santiago, Ciancia was a legal gun owner whom a comprehensive background check would have detected as mentally unbalanced. Yet 85 percent of U.S. mass shooters and a shocking number of non-mass shooters pass their background checks—including Dylann Roof who murdered nine church worshippers. Ciancia’s rampage also could have been stopped by a gun order of protection—those around him said they knew he was intent on gun violence—or a registry of owners to detect who has become unstable since a gun purchase. The gun lobby fights both provisions and shockingly lobbies for greater gun rights for the mentally ill.

 

After a massacre like Fort Lauderdale, even gun friendly politicians realize that little-to-no gun safety laws are the reason for the bloodshed and deaths. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in whose state the worst gun massacre in U.S. history happened, now expresses support for keeping guns away from people with mental illness. But as long as the public forgets a mass shooting a week ago, the massacres will continue you. The gun lobby thanks you.

 

Police Department Will Trim $3 Million From Budget By Scrapping Firearms Training

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

January 14, 2017

 

 

by Elliot Fineman

 

(satire) The Plains River Police Department (PRPD) announced today it will trim $3 million from its yearly budget by immediately ceasing firearms training of all officers. More than half of the department’s budget has traditionally gone to firearms training, a practice to now be fully phased out.

 

Asked about the new no firearms-training policy, Chief William “Willie” Johnson said the force did not realize the money was being wasted until recent testimony before the Wisconsin state legislature from Fred Doyle, a gun industry lobbyist. Doyle explained that the only way citizens can exercise their “God-given right to self-defense” is to carry a gun. “Even if they have never fired one—they can safely carry it and defend themselves because self-defense is a reflexive, intuitive act,” asserted Doyle.

 

“Why on earth would police officers need training when citizens need no training to be able to defend themselves? It makes no sense,” said Chief Johnson. “Twenty-four states now issue permits without requiring someone to ever have pulled a trigger once. Clearly firearms training of officers, and retraining which we had been doing every six months, is a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

 

Recently, federal legislation that would allow gun owners to carry their weapons anywhere in the U.S. even if they reside in the growing number of states requiring no training whatsoever or no permits has been filed by Congressman Richard Hudson, Republican of North Carolina. The states of Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, West Virginia, Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming now allow “permitless carry”–carrying a concealed weapon without any training or state permits. Permitless carry will likely soon be legalized in Texas, Montana, Utah, Indiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota and South Dakota.

 

Not everyone on the Plains River force applauds the move. “How can we possibly stop crimes in progress and accurately hit human targets without frequently spending a lot of time at the range?” asked Officer Chip Andrews, 25, of Driftburg who has recently joined the force. “An officer with no firearms training is useless on the beat–and puts everyone else, civilians and officers, in danger at the same time.”

 

But Shirley Stark, a PRPD public information officer, disagrees. “Rep. Hudson’s bill already has 77 co-sponsors. Clearly all those lawmakers are not wrong. It is increasingly obvious that training to know how to handle and shoot a lethal weapon is not necessary for its appropriate use. We are happy to have identified this misappropriation of our funds.”

 

As part of its elimination of firearms training, the Plains River Police Department will shutter its 18-year-old firing range on Dunkins Road/Route 29.

 

When asked about the department decision, Mayor Rich Cooper lauded the discovery of the “regrettable waste of funds that has gone on year after year” and said he hoped the money could now be “used for the schools” or “water department upgrades.”

 

 

 

Elliot Fineman

CEO – Founder

National Gun Victims Action Council

www.gunvictimsaction.org/donate

www.gunvictimsaction.org

 

Another Legal Gun Owner With Mental Illness and Prior Violence

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

January 8, 2017

 

Like two other murderers, Florida airport murderer’s gun was returned by authorities.

 

Confessed Fort Lauderdale murderer Esteban Santiago, like 85% of mass shooters, was a legal gun owner. And, like a comparable number of mass shooters, he had severe mental illness, prior legal incidents and was known to authorities.

 

 

 

Who remembers Aaron Alexis who killed 12 at the Washington Naval Yard in 2013? His military service was checkered with misconduct and he had mental health issues but sailed through his background check and bought his murder weapon at Sharpshooters in Lorton, VA two days before his shootings. No matter that he had been previously charged in two shooting crimes.

 

Who remembers Kyle Aaron Huff who killed six at a Seattle rave? Like Santiago, police in Whitefish, MT returned Huff’s gun after they seized it when he previously shot up a public art installation. No hard feelings. (In 2014, police returned a gun seized from a dangerous man whereupon he killed his wife and himself.)

 

Like most future mass shooters, Santiago was known to authorities. He had been charged with domestic abuse, a mere misdemeanor said Justice Clarence Thomas when considering the Constitutional right to own a gun.

 

When legal gun owners kill, especially mass shootings, the gun lobby is usually silent because its official position, “criminals don’t obey laws,” is contradicted. 

But the gun lobby also thinks the “rights” of convicted felons, domestic abusers and people who have been hospitalized for mental illness to own lethal weapons are more important than their future victims.
 
After the Virginia Tech murders, NRA lobbyists pushed through a gun restoration provision for mentally ill people in national background check laws if they “will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety.” Key word “likely.”

 

“In several ways this bill is better for gun owners than current law,” boasted the NRA website because “certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving a firearm.”

 

Thanks to the gun lobby maneuver, Sam French, a Virginian who was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility and told authorities he heard voices, had his right to possess firearms reinstated and his gun returned after a short court hearing in 2009. Why should hearing voices intrude on his “gun rights” bellowed the gun lobby–a question now being asked in Fort Lauderdale.

 

Will the Gun Lobby Say This About Today’s Mass Shooting?

Friday, January 6th, 2017

We Don’t Need New Laws Says Gun Lobby…Except Maybe These

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

December 25, 2016

 

“How are those gun laws working out for you in Chicago?” It is the most common, snide remark we hear at NGVAC along with “F– you you anti-freedom, anti-American libtrards.”

 

For five years we have pointed out that almost 60 percent of crime guns recovered in Chicago were originally sold in states with weaker laws. Since 2009, more than 1,500 guns found at crime scenes in Chicago have come from one gun store, Chuck’s Gun Shop in suburban Riverdale. Chuck’s along with three other gun sellers not within Chicago city limits provided 20 percent of Chicago’s crime guns between 2010 and 2014.

 

The weapons used by gunmen to shoot two Chicago police officers and shoot at a downtown commuter train, crimes within days of each other in October 2014, came from–any guesses?–Indiana, the home state of Vice President-elect Pence.

 

 

Gun advocates like to play dumb about Chicago but they are the first ones to see why only federal laws work when it favors them. Who remembers the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre accusing home rule communities with laws restricting guns of “nullifying the right to carry” because people “could drive on their highways with the guns, but they couldn’t stop anywhere”?

 

The gun lobby loves to say that we do not need new gun laws; that we have enough already that simply need to be enforced and besides laws “don’t work.” Chicago is proof. Yet it is the gun lobby that used the same jackbooted lawmakers it hates to pass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (that says you can’t sue gun makers) and the Tiahrt Amendments that prohibit using evidence of a gun dealer’s link to crime guns to revoke his license and prohibit the FBI retaining records of gun buyers who pass the National Instant Criminal Background Check beyond 24 hours.

 

I wanted to “make sure I was fulfilling the needs of my friends who are firearms dealers,” admitted Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) when he spearheaded the Amendments.

 

Now, with Trump elected, the gun lobby is pushing for a federal “carry reciprocity” law that would allow concealed carry permit holders “a unilateral right to move between state lines.” Why shouldn’t someone granted the right to carry a gun in a state that requires no permits or no training whatsoever–yes there is a growing number!–not be able to walk down Fifth Avenue?

 

Chicago is far from the only city that is a violent casualty of guns trafficked from states with looser gun laws and a lack of federal laws. New York police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos and Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco were all killed with guns purchased from the same Georgia gun dealer reported New York Daily News last year. The gun lobby yells when local laws nullify the “right to carry.” How about when laws in loose gun states nullify law enforcement officers themselves?

 

 

Gun-Free Zones Under Donald Trump

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

 

by Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 

December 22, 2016

 

While campaigning for office this summer, Donald Trump, the NRA’s candidate, blamed gun violence on “gun-free zones.” For example, the 90 who died in the Bataclan theater in Paris last year would be alive today if they had been armed he said. (He did not explain how, in the dark, the 1,000 people in the audience—having pulled their guns out—would know the good guys holding guns from the bad—and not shoot each other, or innocent bystanders. Nor did he explain how untrained carriers would shoot accurately when studies show that fully trained police officers in the U.S. miss 7 out of 10 shots.)

 

Nor would the Charlie Hebdo staff, also gunned down in Paris, have stopped the bad guys if they had been armed admitted a pro-gun group that restaged the massacre in Dallas a week after the January 7, 2015 shootings. At least nine states have now passed laws allowing civilian carriers to have no training at all—it’s an infringement of “gun rights”—yet carriers without any skills are expected to keep environments safe.

 

Trump also blamed the 2015 murders of four Marines and a Navy sailor by Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez at Chattanooga military posts on gun-free zones though he was embarrassingly wrong. (Military Times says, “At least two service members involved in the Chattanooga shooting were carrying personal weapons during the attack, in possible violation of current military rules, and unsuccessfully returned fire in an attempt to stop the homicidal gunman.”)

 

Trump and the gun lobby are shockingly silent when they can’t blame violence on “gun-free zones” as in the shooting of 18 police officers last summer in Baton Rouge and Dallas. Weren’t they “good guys with guns”?

 

Gun-Free Zones Provide The Safest Environments

 

Trump and the gun lobby are also shockingly silent on the most well-established gun-free zones in the world—corporate boardrooms and headquarters. No major corporation in the U.S.—including the NRA— permits guns in its corporate headquarters and boardrooms. Why? Because guns in an environment make that environment dangerous.

 

Metal detectors, guards and secure building floors thwart any gun carriers from getting near corporate officers. When was the last time anyone heard about a shooting in those very dangerous “gun-free zones” known as corporate headquarters?

 

Of course, virtually all of these same corporations that shield their officers from gun risks allow their employees and customers to face them by permitting guns in their stores and outlets.

 

Yelling “gun-free zone” lets zealots ignore the element of surprise that kills so many heroic law enforcers. Instead, they pretend that everyday armed citizens can do what law enforcers do. President Reagan’s own highly trained Secret Service couldn’t stop him being shot—but armed teachers, students and school staff will stop shooters? Dream on, gun advocates.

 

Carrying Guns Does Not Provide Self-Defense

 

We at NGVAC have tested gun self-defense with 77 volunteers at the Prince George’s County police department in Maryland with Mount St. Mary’s University crime researchers in the most exhaustive study of gun self-defense to date. Civilians, even with their guns drawn (so they would not lose time retrieving them from holsters), were unable to approach the accuracy and judgment of trained police officers in all scenarios—including highly trained civilians. They were “killed” despite their weapons, failed to stop the bad guys and even “shot” at bad guys who were unarmed.

 

Civilians didn’t even take cover reported the Washington Post on our research. “They didn’t attempt to issue commands to their assailants. Their trigger fingers were either too itchy — they shot innocent bystanders or unarmed people, or not itchy enough — they didn’t shoot armed assailants until they were already being shot at.”

 

In Trump’s and the NRA’s upside-down world, gun-free zones are the cause of gun violence not guns: more guns in more places make us safer they say. Yet numerous studies show just the opposite is true—but, of course, those are only facts.

 
National Gun Victims Action Council
www.gunvictimsaction.org/donate

www.gunvictimsaction.org

 

New Year’s Resolutions for the NRA for 2017

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016


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