Posts Tagged ‘NRA’

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Trump’s “Enemies” List, like the NRA’s, Keeps Growing

Monday, July 25th, 2016

 

“It’s the temperament, stupid!” Many who fear a Trump presidency are less worried about his policies than his “attack back” reflex which is his most distinguishing characteristic.

 

When provoked, Trump has attacked everyone from news outlets/reporters (including Fox News) to leaders in his own party like governors Scott Walker, Rick Scott and Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. He has even attacked mega donor Charles Koch, Karl Rove (once the Republican party “architect”) and federal judges. Does he even think before he fires?

 

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In his “get even” reprisal reflex Trump is just like the gun lobby he has recently* come to embrace. (*In 2015, his Chicago Trump International Hotel and Tower sported a “no guns” sign.) The gun lobby is notorious for shooting its wounded and taking no prisoners.

 

Does anyone remember what happened to outdoors personality Jim Zumbo when he said this about military style weapons in 2007: “Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I’ll go so far as to call them ‘terrorist’ rifles,” he wrote on a blog. “We don’t need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them.”

 

Zumbo was promptly called a “turncoat” by his brethren. He was stripped of his Outdoors Network TV show, Outdoor Life magazine position and his relationship with Remington Arms. His TV show was restored after he issued this offensive 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 the words of George Orwell, Zumbo loved Big Brother, too.

 

Then there was the termination and resignation of editors at Guns & Ammo magazine in 2013 for daring to call for mandatory gun-owner training–a clear violation of “gun rights” said the gun lobby. Why should people carrying lethal weapons know how to handle or shoot them? The government “should not deem it necessary to micromanage the citizen exercise of essential rights,” said the NRA.

 

And how about these reprisals in Florida? The NRA launched a rabid campaign calling Republican state lawmaker Charles McBurney ”unfit” to be a circuit court judge in the Jacksonville area. His “crime”? When chairing the House Judiciary Committee, he did not bring a bill up for vote that would have strengthened Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

 

A few years before that, lawmaker Juan-Carlos Planas, who had served in the Florida House, opposed a bill allowing gun owners to leave weapons in their cars at work. Many employers and property owners oppose guns stored on their property for obvious reasons from insurance and accidents to workplace beefs and deliberate violence. But, by defending property owner rights, Planas was shocked to receive a grade of “D” from the NRA.

 

“I went to Marion Hammer [a fierce gun lobbyist] and was like, ‘How the hell can you name me anti-gun?’” he recounts. “She was like, ‘You earned that rating.’” They are no doubt the same words Trump says to those on his growing enemies list.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Ten Years Ago Today in Gun Violence

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

 

Do you know what you were doing ten years ago? The families of these victims do. Ten years ago in Chicago, Starkesia Reed, 14 was killed when a stray bullet from an AK-47 assault rifle went through the window of her family’s house. She was eating an orange and getting ready for school. Eleven days later and a few blocks away, Siretha White, 10, was killed when a stray bullet went through the window of her aunt’s home. She was attending a surprise birthday party for her cousin.

 

The Chicago innocent bystanders were just the start, ten years ago. The same month, Seattle had its second worst massacre in 20 years when Aaron Kyle Huff, draped in bandoliers of shotgun shells, killed six at a Seattle party. Police later found an assault rifle and several large-capacity ammunition magazines in his vehicle as well. Huff’s two weapons–a 12-gauge Winchester Defender shotgun with an extended magazine and a pistol grip and a .40-caliber Ruger semiautomatic handgun–with which some victims were shot twice, were legal. So legal, they were returned to him by police after a prior shooting arrest in 2000! He had “rights”!

 

Days earlier, Jennifer San Marco, a person with psychosis who passed her background check, killed six at a postal facility and a neighbor in Goleta, California with a gun she bought at a pawn shop. She was known for shouting furiously to herself, peeling off her clothes in random parking lots, kneeling in prayer by the roadside and ordering food at restaurants and bolted out the door before eating it—but she was a legal gun owner.

 

Why has nothing changed for ten years? Because there is no gun violence, no massacre that will move the 34 senators from pro-gun states to allow gun safety legislation. After the Sandy Hook massacre, federal lawmakers would not even elevate gun trafficking to a felony. After the San Bernardino massacre, federal lawmakers refused to close the Terror Watch List loophole—placing the “gun rights” of possible terrorists above the right of citizens to not be shot at an office party! And of course, no gun legislation was passed after the shooting of Rep. Giffords.

 

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Money, however, talks. It took about a week for Indiana lawmakers to change their mind about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when Apple, American Airlines, the NCAA college sports league and others threatened to pull their convention business. Now companies like PayPal and Wells Fargo, sport associations like the NBA and entertainers are exerting a similar effect on states with “bathroom” laws.

 

There is no question the pro-gun movement is on the wrong side of history. Only 18 percent of millennials even own guns. But at 30,000 gun deaths in the US a year—10,000 homicides—can we afford to wait for the pro-gun movement to fade away? Learn what you can do now on our website http://gunvictimsaction.org

 

 

 

 

Domestic Abuse Should Not Curtail Gun “Rights”–Justice Clarence Thomas

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

 

Recently Justice Clarence Thomas broke decades of silence to observe that the right to own a gun is constitutional and should not be infringed upon by a mere misdemeanor for domestic violence. His thinking–and states like Michigan and Louisiana which defend the “gun rights” of domestic abusers–is why beliefs about gun regulation often separate men from women.

 

Millions of women have current or ex partners who are violent and possessive. They drink too much, are emotionally unpredictable and prone to rages. When women try to leave them, they threaten, stalk and even shoot and kill the women. One source estimates a woman is shot by a husband or partner once a month in the US. In August five women were shot in five days.

 

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It is no coincidence that violent “exes” are so alike. There is a definite “domestic batterer” personality. The dark behavior begins with possessiveness and extreme suspicion and graduates into violence including violence against their partners’ pets. Many domestic batterers say “you’re never leaving me alive” and, despite orders of protection, their chilling prediction often comes through. No wonder the Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius trial brought so many flashbacks to abused women.

 

Pistorius claims he loved Reeva Steenkamp the girlfriend he fatally shot, but emails presented in his trial did not profess love. They criticized her for chewing gum and flirting with someone else at a party. Pistorius “loved” Reeva Steenkamp but did not check to see if she was in her bed (or in another safe place) before firing four shots into the bathroom to kill an “intruder” and killing her. Neighbors report hearing female screams before the shooting which Pistorius’ defense said was him. Right.

 

Pistorius, reported to be a gun lover by witnesses, also has a lot of contradictions about the murder itself. He claims to have heard the intruder but the prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, says a loud air treatment system nearby would have baffled the noise. He claims he was “afraid” of the intruder but ran toward the intruder rather than out of the house when an exit was close by.

 

Pistorius also denies firing a pistol in a restaurant in 2013, months before shooting his girlfriend and has no idea how it happened. “The athlete said he could not explain how the gun went off,” reports CNN. He was also reported to shoot out of his car when on the highway.

 

Like many gun lovers in the US, Pistorius mentions instances where he “defended” himself against criminals and stopped crimes while admitting that he never reported the incidents to law enforcement officials. Like so many US “carriers” he is such a believer in “good guys” defending themselves with guns that he lets “bad guys” get away–to strike again. Thanks Oscar. One gun lover told us with a straight face he did not want his gun rights and privacy “infringed” by reporting a criminal to police. He actually hates law enforcers and the tyrannical government more than the bad guys who will go on to hurt someone else.

 

Obviously not all gun lovers are domestic batterers or bullies. But many domestic batterers and bullies are gun lovers as reams of police records reveal. Even a top NRA official in New York had his stash of 39 guns removed when he was charged with assorted domestic related crimes. Women are three times as likely to be shot and killed by gun-wielding intimate partners than they are strangers–which is why the issue of “gun rights” for domestic abusers divides most men and women.

 

When Will Apple, American Airlines and PayPal Address Gun Violence?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

 

If the death of 20 first graders, the shooting of Rep. Giffords and the San Bernardino massacre did not drive federal gun safety laws, nothing will. After the San Bernardino massacre, lawmakers would not even ban people on the Terror Watch List from buying guns actually placing “gun rights” over our right to be safe from terrorists!

 

Yet it took about a week for Indiana lawmakers to change their mind about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when Apple, American Airlines, the NCAA college sports league and others threatened to pull their convention business. And American Airlines, PayPal, Wells Fargo and the NBA will no doubt have a similar effect on LGBT discrimination laws that states are currently trying to enact.

 

What is the difference? Money. Lawmakers can and do ignore calls and vigils from gun violence victims but when PayPal threatens to pull its $3.6-million, 400-job project or the NBA its 2017 All-Star game lawmakers wake up and smell the coffee. No state wants to be an economic island. (And remember how quickly the NFL reversed tolerance of domestic violence after hearing from sponsors like Anheuser-Busch and the Radisson hotel chain?)

 

 

NRA cartoons - Google Search

 

US corporations are twice hypocrites. First they speak out on LGBT rights and domestic violence but are mute on the need for laws to mitigate the gun violence epidemic that kills 82 people a day in the US—and accounts for the majority of domestic violence. And secondly, they allow gun carriers in their stores, restaurants or outlets while clearly banning them in corporate offices.

 

Just as 90 percent of the nation deplores LGBT discrimination, 90 percent of the nation wants sane gun laws like universal background checks. (Currently any criminal can buy a gun at a gun show.) Major chains like Panera Bread, Sonic, Chili’s, Chipotle, Starbucks, Jack in the Box, Target, Whole Foods, Peet’s, Ikea, Disneyland, California Pizza Kitchen, Buffalo Wild Wings, Toys R US and the AMC and Cinemark theaters recognize customers do not want to enter an armed zone and dine or shop next to “carriers” without even knowing it. But few have the courage to outright ban guns.

 

And there is more hypocrisy. Last week, the same gun rights absolutists who say gun-free zones kill because armed good guys can’t stop armed bad guys “suddenly got religion when it came to armed delegates in a convention hall in Cleveland,” says the New Yorker. Hey, those things kill. In 2015, Trump’s own hotel in Chicago had a “no guns” sign.

 

No, lawmakers don’t and won’t listen to gun violence victims no matter how many vigils we hold. They think people on the Terror Watch List have gun rights. But they do listen to corporate America which can make their state an economic island as we saw with Indiana and currently are seeing with North Carolina and Mississippi.

 

Are You Dining or Shopping Next to A Gun Carrier? Probably.

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

For over six years, NGVAC has pointed out the sheer insanity of US gun laws—that anyone on the Terror Watch List can buy a gun, that 90 percent of mental health records are missing from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and that carrying a gun, unless someone is highly trained and periodically retrained, does not even offer self-defense.

 

We have highlighted the insanity of allowing civilians to own sniper weapons as snipers have terrorized Washington DC, Pennsylvania and major highways. And in a popular series called “Beware the Law-Abiding Citizen” we have exposed how most gun perpetrators are not “bad guys” but “law-abiding citizens.”

 

Now, NGVAC is pointing out that all US corporations ban guns from their headquarters and boardrooms–yet only a handful protect their customers and employees in the same way. The new feature is called “Corporate Hypocrite of the Month” and followers are asked to notify the hypocrite that they will withdraw their business until guns are banned.

 

Companies like to say they are following “local laws” but local laws allow a business or property owner to ban guns. The truth is businesses won’t get off the sidelines and take a stand against gun violence even though they can.

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Home Depot Is The First Hypocrite

 

Home Depot welcomed Texas’ newly legal handgun carriers this year despite the fatal shooting of a Home Depot manager by a disgruntled employee at a Chelsea, NY store last year and a shopper brazenly shooting at alleged shoplifters at an Auburn Hills, MI store in October. Home Depot hosted “open carry” rallies on its property.

 

Like all customers entering businesses that allow guns, Home Depot customers are shopping next to gun carriers without their knowledge or consent. Worse, the carriers may not even know how to shoot or handle the weapon since West Virginia, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming now all allow people to “carry” with no training required! (Untrained carriers also heighten the financial risks that businesses allowing guns already face.)

 

No Smoking But Guns Allowed?

 

In many ways, public awareness of gun dangers parallels that of secondhand smoke. There was a time that people would shop or dine next to smokers oblivious to the clear cancer dangers we now know exist and the violation of their right to a safe environment. Now, many chains like Starbucks, Panera Bread, Sonic Drive-In, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Chipotle, Jack in the Box and Target are requesting that patrons do not bring in guns. But requesting is not enough.

 

“They do not ‘request’ that people do not bring guns into boardrooms or corporate headquarters—they ban them,” says NGVAC’s founder and CEO Elliot Fineman. Tell Home Depot you are withholding your business until it bans guns.

Click here.

 

 

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West Virginia Joins States Not Requiring Gun Carriers To Have Permits Or Training

Monday, March 7th, 2016

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by

Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 

Despite the objections of West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and law enforcement officers, the West Virginia House officially tossed out this month permit and training requirements for people over 21 who want to carry a concealed weapon, overriding the governor’s veto. (more…)

2016 New Year’s Resolutions for the NRA

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

NRA Resolutions
January 2, 2016
 

  1. We will stop referring to ourselves as a “civil rights” organization defending “human rights.” It is a sacrilege to every victim of civil or human rights violations.
  2. (more…)


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