Posts Tagged ‘Santa Barbara’

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.

 

The Year in Gun Massacres: More Bloodshed in More Places

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

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Guns Have Feelings Too Says the Gun Lobby

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

 

Many have observed that in defending “gun rights,” the gun lobby helps the very bad guys it says it is against. Exhibit A is blocking private sale background checks so criminals can buy guns at gun shows–and do. Exhibit B is the 2004 Tiahrt amendments which block ATF from requiring yearly dealer inventory despite the tens of thousands of “lost” or “stolen” guns that become crime guns.

 

Of course the NRA obstructionism is because universal background checks will lead to “government confiscation” but arming criminals also sells guns to “good guys” because, well, the criminals have guns!

 

Exhibit C is laws, written by the “bill mill” ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and passed in a growing number of states making it illegal to destroy guns that police seize, often from crime scenes. Yes, the NRA wants to save guns on “death row” because they are “valuable property.”

NRA cartoons - Google Search

 

The NRA says fears that guns will go back to criminals is “absurd” and if police resold seized guns at a discount it would help lower-income Americans in high-crime areas. But guns resold by police are used in crimes including crimes in which law enforcers are shot says CNNMoney.

 

The new “Don’t Destroy” laws send police out to “face the same guns they risked their lives to get off the street,” says Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher. Hennepin County, MN Sheriff Richard Stanek agrees.

 

NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker says seized guns are sold to “law-abiding citizens,” not criminals. But the Charleston, Chattanooga, Chapel Hill, Roanoke, Lafayette, Umpqua, Navy Yard, Fort Hood, Santa Barbara, Tucson, Aurora, and Virginia Tech shooters were all legal gun owners as are most mass shooters. Feel better? Baker also says the reason for destruction of seized guns is that anti-gun violence groups want to “want to get rid of all guns.”

 

It is hard to believe the Constitution-focused, “patriotic” gun lobby is so unabashedly pro-criminal and anti-law enforcement. In addition to releasing crime guns back to the street, it has pushed laws that ban gun buy-backs, a modest but effective way for family members to remove household guns. To demonstrate its contempt for law enforcement, gun victims and gun regulation, Guns Save Life in Champaign IL vowed to sabotage a Chicago buy-back this week by turning in inoperable and rusty guns. “We will be delighted to transact business once more with do-gooders in Chicago,” said its executive director.

 

With lethal shootings in church, schools, on US highways and even during newscasts, the public space is no longer safe. We have asked President Obama to declare a state of emergency as he did in 2009 when the swine flu became a daily, public health threat.

 

 

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These mass shooters have “rights” says the gun lobby

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

 

One of the gun lobby’s biggest assets is the public’s short memory. Who remembers that Army Specialist Ivan Lopez shot 18 and killed 3 at Fort Hood last year? People barely remember that Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed on-camera six weeks ago during a newscast.

 

This summer’s bloodshed in a church, movie theaters and at recruitment stations followed by shooting deaths on three US campuses in one week has roused politicians out of their deep gun denial. Clearly, a Congress that thought universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and better trafficking laws were too extreme after Sandy Hook, won’t be swayed by fifty new bereaved parents of slain college kids.

 

Still, there is a big difference between President Obama taking “executive actions” as politicians and anti-gun violence groups urge and invoking a true state of emergency. When the country is faced with large-scale danger, the President can declare a National State of Emergency which allows bypass of federal laws to protect citizens. During the swine flu epidemic in 2009, the President suspended laws governing hospital procedures, patient treatment and federal funding to save lives, as 20,000 were hospitalized and 1,000 died.

 

The gun lobby maintains that gun laws don’t work because “criminals don’t obey laws” but it is one of the lobby’s most lethal lies. The Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois, Tucson, Santa Barbara, Navy Yard, Fort Hood and Aurora killers were legal gun owners as were the recent Charleston, Chattanooga, Lafayette, Roanoke, Roseburg and Flagstaff murder suspects. In fact, most mass shooters have no trouble buying gun after legal gun. (We don’t know about the gunman who killed a Texas Southern University student the same day as the NAU Flagstaff shooting, because he is still at large.)

 

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Not only do mass shooters follow gun laws, there is a chilling intentionality to their murders. Purdue University student Cody Cousins who shot and killed a teaching assistant in a classroom last year, legally purchased his gun a week before the murder. Aaron Alexis bought his legal gun at Sharpshooters in Lorton, VA two days before he killed 12 at the Washington Naval Yard in 2013.

 

Yet according to the gun lobby (and the pols in its thrall), gun lovers with arsenals and stockpiled ammo, who watch violent videos all day and issue social media threats have “rights” until they shoot our kids. On the tip of a woman whose former boyfriend was collecting strobe and laser enhanced assault weapons despite a domestic violence conviction, NGVAC notified the Glendale, AZ and Henderson, NV police departments both of whom told us he had “gun rights” until he killed. What?

 

When mentally unbalanced and homicidal gun enthusiasts can buy weapon after legal weapon for their mass shootings, the nation is beyond the need for “executive actions.” It is time to declare a state of emergency.

 

Tell President Obama it is time to declare a state of emergency–before the next copycat mass shooting.

 

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Will On Camera Assassinations Be a Tipping Point? Or Is More Gun Bloodshed Necessary?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

 

Reporter and cameraman gunned down during live newscast? Beloved professor killed by another professor in his campus office? Another day of gun bloodshed in the US.

 

After mass shootings the media “play by play” is always the same. First the nation is horrified, then the suspect’s “mental illness” is examined, then memorial services are held and then, after self-muting for three days, gun advocates surface to say “no laws” could have prevented the carnage because the “real problem” is mental illness.

 

Wrong on all counts. First, the Charleston, Chattanooga and Roanoke suspects were legal gun owners despite clear mental problems. The gun lobby loves to say criminals don’t follow gun laws but the Virginia Tech, Aurora, Tucson, Fort Hood, Navy Yard, NIU and Santa Barbara shooters–and most other mass gun murderers– followed the letter of the law.

 

Secondly, other countries have as many mentally ill people as we do—but they have gun laws. After the Dunblane school massacre in the United Kingdom in 1996 and the Port Arthur massacre in Australia the same year, laws were passed that prevented future shootings. They learned their lesson. By way of contrast, after the US’s Red Lake massacre in 2005, laws were passed in the US to make it illegal to sue the gun industry.

 

In response to the gun lovers who like to argue “should knives, hammers and cars be outlawed too,” no one has ever wounded 82 people in seconds with a knife as the Aurora killer did with a gun. On the same day as the Sandy Hook murders, a man in China stabbed the same number of school children and none died. It’s the guns, stupid.

 

Many do not realize or can’t believe that the NRA works for the “gun rights” of convicted felons, domestic abusers and people under orders of protection because they have gun rights too. Most people under orders of protection are men, of course and eight women were shot by their husbands in the last week of August—six died.

 

Right after the Aurora movie theater shootings we, at NGVAC, were alerted by an ex-wife to a convicted domestic abuser who was collecting guns and military weapons, which he was legally banned from doing, and donning body armor. We were told by two police departments the possible mass-shooter-in-the-making had the “right” to his arsenal and society would just have to wait until he killed before they could do anything. What?

 

August’s on camera murders, July’s movie and military murders or June’s church murders may not have been a tipping point–but the whole nation knows one is coming. One of these days, one too many gun victim families will ask why their loved one was killed and why their lawmakers are serving the NRA not them.

 

 

 

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Do you work for or patronize any of these top companies? Tell them to get off the sidelines and take a stand for gun safety with these pe-written tweets and posts.

Let People Just Out of Psychiatric Hospitals Have Their Guns Says NRA

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

 

This summer’s bloodshed from people with mental illness attacking churches, military installations, movie theaters and this week a Manhattan federal building has not stopped the NRA’s guns-for-everyone-and-anyone agenda. The NRA-backed Mental Health and Safe Communities Act would restore the “gun rights” of someone who has been hospitalized for mental illness automatically–as soon as he is discharged. Why shouldn’t someone on heavy medication considered a threat to himself and others two days ago get his lethal weapons back the minute he leaves the hospital? Currently, someone who’s been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital must petition for the restoration of his “gun rights” or wait for a court or administrative body to restore them.

 

The NRA-backed legislation is reminiscent of H.R. 2640–The National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvement Amendments Act which the NRA supported after the Virginia Tech massacre. Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech killer, was found “mentally ill and in need of hospitalization” by the New River Valley Community Services Board but bought legal guns and ammunition anyway.

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Like the Mental Health and Safe Communities Act, HR 2640 sounded like it would make communities safer. But on its website the NRA wrote the bill was actually “better for gun owners than current law,” because “certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving a firearm,” like adjudications that have expired or been removed and “commitments from which a person has been completely released with no further supervision required.” Also excluded, said the NRA, “are federal decisions about a person’s mental health that consist only of a medical diagnosis, without a specific finding that the person is dangerous or mentally incompetent.”

 

Why does the NRA promote “gun rights” for people with mental illness? For the same reason it promotes “gun rights” for convicted felons, suspected domestic abusers and people under orders of protection. 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,” said NRA lobbyist Marion P. Hammer. “Don’t like?”

 

NRA cartoons - Google Search

 

That is why after the murder of nine Charleston church worshippers by a suspect with white supremacy attitudes and clear mental problems, the NRA website ignored the massacre in favor of telling its followers—the “largest gun grab in American history” was underway. “The Obama social security system plans to deny 4.2 million people the Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” screamed the NRA referring to a possible White House move to deny guns to Social Security beneficiaries ruled incompetent to manage their own pension or disability payments. Why should people who cannot manage their own affairs and likely have dementia be denied guns? Persecution!

 

This summer was rife with bloodshed from mentally ill people who should have never been able to buys guns–but shootings at Aurora, Tucson, the Navy Yard, Santa Barbara, Fort Hood and Northern Illinois University also underscore the dangers. Is the NRA serious?

 

Do you work for or patronize any of these top companies? Tell them to get off the sidelines and take a stand for gun safety with these pe-written tweets and posts.

Best Argument for Gun Regulation–Defending the "Rights" of Violent Criminals

Friday, September 26th, 2014

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After a suspect killed 6 and injured 13 in Santa Barbara in May despite his family’s warnings, California lawmakers drafted a bill empowering family members and police to seek “gun violence restraining orders” that would disarm people at risk of violent crimes before the bloodshed. But in August, members of gun groups, Oath Keepers, tea party groups and the John Birch Society opposed the measure. Carrying signs reading “Don’t grab our guns” and “Honk for our rights,” demonstrators, mostly men, defended the rights of violent offenders to keep and use their guns. “Where does it stop?” asked John Woodard, of Adelanto, a member of the NRA, echoing the familiar “persecution” theme of the gun lobby.

Gun rights trump violence and a few dead bodies? It’s the Best Argument for Gun Regulation.

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Pro-Gun Minority Becoming More of a Minority

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

While there are more guns in the US than there were thirty years ago, less households actually have guns. According to UPI, over half of US households in 1977 had guns; now less than a third have guns. According to UPI, the reason for the steep decline is “aging of the current-gun owning population, a lack of interest in guns by youth, the end of military conscription, the decreasing popularity of hunting; land-use issues that limit hunting and shooting and the increase in single-parent homes headed by women.”

Needless to say, gun sales are increasingly to households that already have guns, reflecting the sales pitches after the election of President Obama and the Sandy Hook massacre that new guns laws, if not outright confiscation, would ensue. Right. Actually laws became even more gun friendly after Newtown.

Households that were already armed are even more armed today. It is reminiscent of a New Yorker cartoon that said, “Let’s say you have up to six hundred intruders per minutes,” as he tries to sell a military style weapon.

Still, the post Newtown profit party is over. In December, both Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and Remington Outdoor Co. reported profits down, according to the Wall Street Journal. Outdoor retailer Cabela’s Inc. also reported sales of firearms and ammunition down, as much as 50 percent. Chief Executive Thomas Millner admitted the feeder frenzy after Newtown was “a bubble.”

The sinking of gun culture, whether for self-defense or hunting, is especially apparent in young people. Half of all millennials now support stricter gun laws and only 18 percent of 18 to 25 year olds even own a gun! Hunting is not cool anymore compared to soccer, snowboarding and social media.dissident-voice.jpg 279*195 pixels

Kids are more involved with “cars, girlfriends or hanging out” and “think it’s boring to sit in a tree for hours and have nothing walk by,” said Kevin Kelly, a college student, to the lower Hudson Valley’s Journal News. It’s not popular in middle school either agreed Carmel student Nick Sadowski.

“Only a couple of my friends really hunt,” high school student Jonathan Gibbons told to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “The rest have never really found the appeal of sitting out in the cold to shoot an animal.” According to the Wildlife Service, the number of young hunters, aged 16 to 24, fell by 300,000 from 1996 to 2006.
The message of the young people statistics is clear. The old white men of the NRA who have terrorized this country and caused 30,000 gun deaths a year are on the wrong side of history. So are the old white lawmakers who do their bidding.


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