Posts Tagged ‘Bill Moyers’

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?

 

 

oppressforchimp

 

 

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.

Why Can't a “Law-Abiding Citizen" Carry Ricin?

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

ITGS_comp_screen BLACKWhy Can’t a “Law-Abiding Citizen” Carry Ricin?

By Elliot Fineman

NGVAC CEO

Part of the IT’S THE GUNS, STUPID Series

“Law-abiding” citizens have the right to carry guns to defend themselves” is the meme that drives our gun laws. Relying on this meme, laws have been passed that allow concealed and open-carried guns in public places ranging from restaurants, bars and movies, to churches and offices. Georgia’s “Guns Everywhere” law is the most extreme law a state has ever passed, ironically after one of the nation’s biggest gun violence incidents, at Sandy Hook elementary school in late 2012.

Here in Illinois, Circuit Judge Richard Posner cited the rights of law-abiding citizens to self-defense in overturning Illinois’ ban on concealed weapons–yet the Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller decision never mentions the individual’s right to carry a gun for self-defense–only to have it in the home. Nor does the Second Amendment mention “self-defense” or even “firearms.” Clearly, judges themselves have bought the “meme.”

The insanity of our guns laws is demonstrated by a conversation I had with someone after a talk I gave who did not agree that we need better gun laws. I asked him if he were familiar with ricin, a substance that is so poisonous that a dose the size of a few grains of table salt can kill an adult human. He said yes he was.

Well, I said, I am a law-abiding citizen and under the Second Amendment I have the right to carry ricin to defend myself and my family. The Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about guns or firearms–it just mentions “arms” and, according to the United Nations, there are at least 33 different types of arms. What do you think about me carrying ricin for self-defense, I asked.

The gun advocate said he did not feel too good about it because it was “pretty dangerous and you could kill a lot of people.”

In point of fact, in the U.S., ricin is so controlled that scientists must register with Health and Human Services before they can possess it to use for their research. A Mississippi man was recently sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for mailing ricin-tainted letters. Would anyone in the U.S. tolerate “law-abiding citizens” carrying ricin–even if there were a lucrative ricin lobby pushing universal ricin carrying like there is for guns? Would anyone tolerate citizens carrying ricin if it were responsible for 30,000 U.S. deaths a year?

I often end my talks about the need for sane gun laws in the U.S. by saying there is one country where the government imposes no gun regulations. People can have all the weapons they want and take them anywhere whether they are criminals, mentally ill, have vendettas, have no training or are children. The government never gets in the way of their “gun rights” or imposes gun laws or restrictions. That country is Somalia.

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NGVAC’s 90 minute, bi-monthly radio show, IT’S THE GUNS, STUPID, airs every other Thursday at 6 PM Eastern Time on 1480 WPWC in Washington, D.C., an AM station that also covers northern Virginia and southern Maryland and reaches nearly 600,000 social media members. The show may be viewed live on the YouTube We Act Radio channel and heard on WeActRadio.com (“Listen Live”), and on Androids or IOS smartphones (TuneIn>Search>”We Act Radio”). Highlights of the show, the complete show and previous shows are posted on the NGVAC website.


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