Posts Tagged ‘Baton Rouge’

NRA is Silent When Gun Violence, Including Against Cops, Doesn’t Fit Its Dogma

Friday, November 4th, 2016

 

What causes gun violence? Bad guys and gun-free zones says the NRA! Everyone knows that. Criminals “don’t obey laws” so laws are meaningless. Worse—gun-free zones don’t let good guys with guns stop the criminals who didn’t obey laws. End of story.

 

No wonder the NRA was so silent last summer when 18 law enforcement officers were brazenly shot in one week in Dallas and Baton Rouge. The cold blooded ambush shootings and murders could neither be blamed on “gun-free zones” or on criminals who “don’t obey laws”–both gunmen were legal gun owners who passed their background checks.

 

The Dallas and Baton Rouge police murders also exposed the NRA lie that assault weapons are used in few killings so bans would be meaningless. They would not have been “meaningless” to the fallen officers’ families.

 

The “patriotic” NRA doesn’t seem to worry about cop deaths. Why else would it defend “cop killer” bullets, aka armor-piercing bullets, as protected by the Second Amendment? Whose side is it on? The gun lobby also seeks to remove restrictions on criminal-friendly gun silencers regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 because of their role in the St Valentine’s Day Massacre and other massacres! They are protected by the Second Amendment, it says.

 

The gun lobby also blocks a national registry which could flag gun owners who become unbalanced and violent after their gun purchases like both the Dallas and Baton Rouge police killers–and save lives. Amazingly, the gun lobby also thinks terrorist suspects on the No Fly list should be able to buy guns.

 

Since criminals “don’t obey laws” and gun-free zones don’t let good guys stop them, the gun lobby was strangely silent after the 2015 Chattanooga shootings. On July 16, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire at an Armed Forces Career Center and U.S. Navy Reserve center, killing four Marines and a sailor and wounding a police officer. The gun lobby tried to blame the Chattanooga murders on a “gun-free zone” until Military Times reported that, “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.”

 

This summer, when guns were banned at the Iowa State Fair, a board member of the Iowa Firearms Coalition proclaimed that “roughly 90 percent of mass-shooting events have occurred in so-called ‘weapons-free zones.'” Yet the brazen murder of two Des Moines police officers this week for which Scott Greene (pictured) is charged, was not exactly in a gun-free zone. 

Suspected police killer had history of run-ins with authorities

 

No, the Chattanooga, Dallas, Baton Rouge and Des Moines ambushes were not “gun-free zones” and at least three were perpetrated by legal gun owners. Abdulazeez passed his background check despite clear terrorist leanings. Why? According to Mother Jones, 85 percent of all mass shooters pass their background checks–a macabre list that includes the Orlando, Umpqua, Charleston, Planned Parenthood, Kalamazoo, Roanake, Lafayette, Chattanooga and Chapel Hill this year and last and the Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, Fort Hood, Navy Yard, Northern Illinois University and Killeen, Texas Luby shooters in previous years.

 

The gun lobby doesn’t want to talk about mass shooters passing background checks and killing law enforcement officers and others. It conflicts with its “bad guys”/ gun-free zones dogma and shows we need better laws. The silence is deafening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Ask These Parents About Guns On Campus

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

It happened seven times in one month in 2013–gun scares on U.S. college campuses. Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana was locked down for hours while Muncie and Indiana State police searched campus buildings. On the same day, the library at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts was evacuated due to a gun scare.

 

Then, in the same month, a disassembled AR-15 rifle, .40-caliber Glock handgun, ammunition for both and body armor were found in a dorm room at Northern Illinois University (where Steven Kazmierczak fatally shot five in 2008) and Central Connecticut State University, Indiana University, Wingate University and A&T State University were locked down from gun threats.

 

The campus shootings continued–at Seattle Pacific University and the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014; at Umpqua Community College in 2015—as did the gun lobby’s agenda to arm U.S. college campuses. This summer, 50 years after sniper Charles Whitman shot 49 from the University of Texas clock tower, the university complied with a new Texas state law allowing concealed firearms in university buildings. And this week, Attorney General Chris Koster, the Democratic nominee for Missouri governor, filed a lawsuit supporting a University of Missouri professor’s desire to bring a concealed weapon on campus.

 

Except for bars, is there any worse place to have guns? College students are known for their high drug and alcohol use and extreme emotional states including suicidal thoughts. Then there are academic rivalries. In 2014, Purdue University teaching assistant Cody Cousins shot and killed teaching assistant Andrew Boldt in an electrical engineering classroom on the campus. Cousins had 17 university counseling appointments and was treated for amphetamine abuse but legally purchased his gun a week before the murder.

 

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Earlier this summer, UCLA Ph.D student Mainak Sarkar shot and killed William Scott Klug, a much loved professor. Press reports said Sarkar had a “hit list” of other professors he planned to kill and also shot and killed his wife. Like Cousins, Sarkar was known for suspicious and erratic behavior—and like Cousins he was a legal gun owner.

 

No wonder University of Oklahoma President David Boren says, “Placing guns on campus, except in the hands of highly trained law enforcement officers and professionals, would be a serious mistake. It would lead only to tragic results.” No wonder the American College Personnel Association “firmly opposes” guns on college campuses.

 

Of course the gun lobby wants to arm campuses so “good guys with guns can stop bad guys with guns.” No matter that the lobby arms bad guys through blocking universal background checks and tougher trafficking laws and that the last 22 mass shooters obeyed gun laws perfectly and were legal gun owners.

 

“It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun” is an insulting and self-serving fantasy that sells guns, fills the morgues and protects no one. If it were true, how were 18 Dallas and Baton Rouge police officers shot last month? How were servicemen at Chattanooga recruitment stations shot last year when they were armed and shot back? Instead of admitting that terrorists, haters and cop killers can and do buy guns, the gun lobby yells we need more guns for “protection.” And now it is bringing its bloody agenda to college campuses.

 

5 Huge Gun Lobby Lies Exposed During This Summer’s Bloodshed

Monday, August 1st, 2016

 

From “bad guys don’t obey gun laws” to “it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun,” gun lobby dogma is repeated so often it appears true. But this summer’s bloodshed reveals how illogical and insulting the banal sayings are.

 

Wayne LaPierre - Google SearchHere are some of the biggest lies.

 

  1. The Only Thing That Stops a Bad Guy With A Gun Is a Good Guy With A Gun

 

Thanks to Texas carry laws, there were so many carriers at the Dallas protest that ended in 12 police officers being shot, law enforcement did not know the “good guys with guns” from the “bad guys with guns.” But none of the good guys with guns, who consider themselves citizen law enforcers, stopped the bad guy or spared law enforcement officers being shot.

 

Last year National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) studied the role of training in gun self-defense, using simulators, at the Prince George’s County police department in Maryland–with shocking results. Even with their guns drawn, highly trained civilians were “killed” and failed to stop bad guys. “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,” said the Washington Post.

 

In a growing number of states, gun advocates have made it illegal to require training for carriers because it is a violation of “gun rights.” Why should people carrying a lethal weapon know how to handle and use it? How many municipalities knew the thousands they could save by realizing police training and retraining is optional?

 

  1. Criminals Don’t Obey Gun Laws

 

Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter who killed 49 people and wounded 53, was a legal gun owner. So were Micah Johnson, who shot 12 Dallas police officers, and Gavin Long who shot six Baton Rouge police officers. Singer Christina Grimmie’s murderer, an apparent deranged fan in Orlando, had no criminal record. Allen Ivanov, who allegedly killed three people in Mulilteo, Washington on Saturday, was a legal gun owner. The Austin shooter, who killed one and wounded four on Saturday, has not yet been identified.

 

Criminals do obey laws. In fact, of 81 mass shooters since 1981, all but 12 were legal gun owners says Mother Jones.

 

  1. Gun-Free Zones Cause Gun Violence

 

When mass shootings occur in gun prevalent zones like the recent Dallas and Baton Rouge police shootings, the NRA likes to change the subject. Last year, gunmen attacked the “gun-free zones” (not) of the Dallas police station, Little Rock Air Force Base and Chattanooga recruitment centers. The gun lobby tried to pretend the Chattanooga recruitment centers were gun-free, but the military press reported that servicemen had personal weapons on them and shot back—saving no one and not stopping the murderer. Again, the good guys with guns did not stop the bad guys with guns. And yes, the murderer was a legal gun owner.

 

  1. Guns Provide Self-Defense

 

President Reagan was surrounded by hyper-vigilant Secret Service and local police officers but a would-be assassin with a cheap handgun was able to shoot all six of its bullets–hitting the president, his press secretary and two officers before being subdued. (Imagine how many people would have been hit if the assailant had a semi-automatic handgun.) Clearly, the element of surprise trumps training and preparedness whether President Reagan’s shooting or the 18 police officers shot this summer. Another example, of course, is the “American Sniper,” Chris Kyle, arguably the best shot in the United States but shot and killed on a gun range.

 

  1. High Capacity Magazines Make No Difference in Numbers Killed

 

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, parents testified that 11 children would be alive today if the murderer had had to reload. The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre (pictured) however, retorted that law-abiding gun owners often need high capacity magazines for “self-defense.” Right. Military style weapons and high capacity magazines are the clear choice of mass shooters including recent ones from the Dallas police murderer who used an AK-47 to the Baton Rouge police murderer who used an AK-15 style weapon to last week’s Mulilteo, Washington murderer who used an AR-15.

 

 

 

 

 

The Gun Lobby Is Okay with A Few Police Officer Deaths to Protect “Gun Rights”

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

 

After Miami police officer Jose Somohano was killed and three others wounded in 2007 with a high-power, assault style rifle, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, a former police officer and police director said, “There’s absolutely no reason I can see having these weapons out on the street.” The International Association of Chiefs of Police agreed and urged Congress to pass “an effective assault weapons ban,” condemning the “firepower available to criminals.”

 

Two years later in Oakland, four police officers were killed with high-power, assault weapons and, in Pittsburgh, three officers were killed and two injured with such weapons. Both the Pittsburgh murderer and this month’s Dallas murderer were legal gun owners whose “rights,” including the right to high-power weapons, the NRA defends.

 

Why is the NRA okay with assault weapons, armor-piercing bullets and high capacity magazines even when our law enforcement officers are sniped, ambushed and assaulted?

 

 

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The reason, according to Joshua Holland writing in the Nation, is the insurgency interpretation of the Second Amendment “holds that Americans must have the right to own military-style weapons because a heavily armed populace is the last bulwark against a tyrannical government running amok.” Without civilian owned military-style weapons, goes the thinking, we could turn into tyrannies like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the 24 countries of the E.U.

 

“The whole point of firearm ownership is that it allows civilians to fight against agents of the government, be they law enforcement officers or members of the American military, should a situation arise when the government grossly violates the rights of American citizens,” says a gun advocate Holland quotes–in a chilling replication of the exact thinking behind the Dallas murders.

 

How can the gun lobby claim patriotism while hating the government asked veteran newsman Bill Moyers this week. “On the one hand, its supporters are mostly conservatives who believe in law and order, the kind of folks who value social and familial hierarchy and respect for authority. On the other hand, the group preaches contempt for government — and police are the spear point of government authority.”

 

After the shooting of four Miami police officers in 2007, the Washington Post noted that since the 2004 expiration of the federal assault weapons ban “the guns, once found solely in the hands of soldiers, are aimed at officers on patrol,” and that “already 12 of the 60 homicides have involved the high-power guns.” John Rivera, president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association at the time, said police did not even have a “fighting chance” against such weapons.

 

Since then, things have only gotten worse. In Dallas, the murderer’s weapons were so powerful, it looked at first like there were multiple snipers. The police, the “good guys with guns,” had to use a bomb to stop him. The NRA was strangely silent about the murderer with his legally bought guns.


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