HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » aikoaiko » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Tue Jun 29, 2004, 07:38 PM
Number of posts: 30,976

Journal Archives

Any other fans of NPR's Snap Judgment?

I really can't get over the incredible storytelling.

In many ways, it picks up where This American Life leaves off.

One could say it is the Black New York alternative to the Jewish Chicago This American Life.

I love both shows.

Website: http://snapjudgment.org/

Man in the Mirror Episode is fantastic.

Eleven Days After Super Tuesday and Bernie Sanders is still Campaigning for every Vote!

I'm proud of you for proving wrong all those who said you'd be gone the day after Super Tuesday.

And now you're close in MO and OH. Bern, baby, bern.

Obama on Trump

For old time's sake.

Circa 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner.

Coates: Hillary Clinton Goes Back to the Dunning School

Hillary Clinton Goes Back to the Dunning School
How do you diagnose the problem of racism in America without understanding its actual history?

Last night Hillary Clinton was asked what president inspired her the most. She offered up Abraham Lincoln, gave a boilerplate reason why, and then said this:

You know, he was willing to reconcile and forgive. And I don't know what our country might have been like had he not been murdered, but I bet that it might have been a little less rancorous, a little more forgiving and tolerant, that might possibly have brought people back together more quickly.

But instead, you know, we had Reconstruction, we had the re-instigation of segregation and Jim Crow. We had people in the South feeling totally discouraged and defiant. So, I really do believe he could have very well put us on a different path.

Clinton, whether she knows it or not, is retelling a racist—though popular—version of American history which held sway in this country until relatively recently. Sometimes going under the handle of “The Dunning School,” and other times going under the “Lost Cause” label, the basic idea is that Reconstruction was a mistake brought about by vengeful Northern radicals. The result was a savage and corrupt government which in turn left former Confederates, as Clinton puts, it “discouraged and defiant.”

He talks about it some more and makes some more criticism of Bernie, too.

Mixed feelings and competing thoughts on Obama's Town Hall on Guns

I think the president was honest and sincere about his desire to improve existing laws to reduce, ever so slightly, gun violence.

Its really a shame that professional gun control advocates and the Whitehouse have used more extreme language about "closing the gun show loophole" and "ending internet sales without background checks." They oversold the president's recommendations and now he is trying to walk it back to reality. Nevertheless, the NRA now will fight the perception that president is orchestrating substantive changes.

Cooper's question about the fairness of calling worries about broader gun control and confiscations conspiracy theories hit a nerve with the president. Obviously, door-to-door confiscation is far fetched, but the idea that passing modest gun control laws will be a prelude to more restrictive gun control laws is not. The president supports an Assault Weapons Ban. I don't think the president understands that or maybe he does but won't admit it.

So I hope congress funds the hiring of more agents for background checks and investigations, I hope congress funds the implementation of new processes where those who are dangerous due to mental illness are identified as prohibited from gun ownership and have a fair process for defending themselves, I hope congress provides the funds to improve the quality of datasets so that they can provide correct denial decisions.

But let's be clear that the so-called gun show loophole is no more closed today than it was a week ago and nothing he proposed closes it at all. A collector with 100 guns can rent a table and sell each firearm to 100 different people without a federally required background check. All we have now is the hysterical bleating from the loudest mouths on both sides of the RKBA issue.

And maybe that was the point -- to create the impression of substantive change in order to create energy in the anti-RKBA base to produce actual substantive change.

I'm a RKBA supporter and Democrat. Ask me anything about the recent Obama announcement.

We don't have the specific executive orders/action documents yet, but we have this statement/release.


Here is the first item:

1 Keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks.
a. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is making clear that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks.
b. ATF is finalizing a rule to require background checks for people trying to buy some of the most dangerous weapons and other items through a trust, corporation, or other legal entity.
c. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch has sent a letter to States highlighting the importance of receiving complete criminal history records and criminal dispositions, information on persons disqualified because of a mental illness, and qualifying crimes of domestic violence.
d. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is overhauling the background check system to make it more effective and efficient. The envisioned improvements include processing background checks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and improving notification of local authorities when certain prohibited persons unlawfully attempt to buy a gun. The FBI will hire more than 230 additional examiners and other staff to help process these background checks.

a. This idea that if you're in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks is existing law. The law also says that private sellers can transfer their weapons in exchange for money without a license or background check (although state laws may require a background check). What we need is a rule that describes when private seller transfer becomes a business. Further down the release, the president punts:
"Quantity and frequency of sales are relevant indicators. There is no specific threshold number of firearms purchased or sold that triggers the licensure requirement. But it is important to note that even a few transactions, when combined with other evidence, can be sufficient to establish that a person is “engaged in the business.” For example, courts have upheld convictions for dealing without a license when as few as two firearms were sold or when only one or two transactions took place, when other factors also were present."

b. Clarifying the background check requirements for trusts and corporations is a good thing, but I have never heard of a trust NFA weapon being used in any crime let alone mass murder. Zero. There was only one documented use of a legal NFA weapon being used in a crime back in the 1980s and I don't think it was a trust. Nevertheless, the rules should be clarified. Please note, that laws already punish unlawful possession of any firearm (trust or not) if you are a prohibited person. Its not like these people couldn't be convicted if caught.

c. This sounds like a nice letter. All states should know that its important to report data correctly.

d. Hiring more people to due background checks is important. More examiners will mean fewer bureaucratic mistakes like the one that happened with the Charleston church massacre. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/10/421789047/fbi-says-background-check-error-let-charleston-shooting-suspect-buy-gun

2. Make our communities safer from gun violence.

The Attorney General convened a call with U.S. Attorneys around the country to direct federal prosecutors to continue to focus on smart and effective enforcement of our gun laws.
The President’s FY2017 budget will include funding for 200 new ATF agents and investigators to help enforce our gun laws.
ATF has established an Internet Investigation Center to track illegal online firearms trafficking and is dedicating $4 million and additional personnel to enhance the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.
ATF is finalizing a rule to ensure that dealers who ship firearms notify law enforcement if their guns are lost or stolen in transit.
The Attorney General issued a memo encouraging every U.S. Attorney’s Office to renew domestic violence outreach efforts.

All of the issues in Item 2 look good to me. Having accurate and timely data in background check datasets is essential for good denials. Hiring new agents who can investigate and arrest people who knowingly attempt to purchase a gun when they are prohibited and other illegal transfers is something a lot of people have been asking for. Clarifying the reporting of stolen firearms when shipped from businesses is an excellent change.

3. Increase mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system.

a. The Administration is proposing a new $500 million investment to increase access to mental health care.
b. The Social Security Administration has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to include information in the background check system about beneficiaries who are prohibited from possessing a firearm for mental health reasons.
c. The Department of Health and Human Services is finalizing a rule to remove unnecessary legal barriers preventing States from reporting relevant information about people prohibited from possessing a gun for specific mental health reasons

a. More money for mental health treatment is good for everyone.

b. I think this issue involves Representative Payees. If a beneficiary is minor or mentally incompetent, a representative payee can be appointed. I believe this involves a hearing and due process. Its sounds reasonable, but I don't know of any cases where someone with a representative payee committed a gun crime. There aren't that many -- only 77,000.

c. This could be a tricky issue. Mental health advocates may have a problem with this. Mental health is health information and subject to certain protections. We need more info on this.

4. Shape the future of gun safety technology.

The President has directed the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology.
The President has also directed the departments to review the availability of smart gun technology on a regular basis, and to explore potential ways to further its use and development to more broadly improve gun safety.

I'm all for this. When military and civilian LE are satisfied with the technology for their use, it will become more accepted by non-military, non-LE civilians.

Are the executive actions on gun violence available to read directly?

The news agencies are providing remarkably different descriptions.

Are they available someplace to read directly?

Nothing here:

Or here (except for something on smart gun tech):

Finally saw Little Miss Sunshine

It was one of those movies I avoided for years because my wife, son born in 2005, and me were dealing with lots of crises and struggling. Sometimes I just don't watch something even if its good because I'm afraid of the emotions that it may elicit.

But I watched it tonight and that is a sign of something good in my family. We're seeing some light at the end of myriad dark tunnels. I love them unconditionally with all my heart.

We may be freaky, but the family's alright. That's a little Little Miss Sunshine joke for those who didn't see the flick.

USPS mail harassment of Bravenak

Hey All,

I don't post much in this group, but you've probably seen me post in GDP in support of Bernie, sometimes zealously.

For those of you who don't know, a DU member who is currently on timeout for 5 hidden posts was sent this letter through the USPS:


I have a hard time believing this harassing letter is from an actual Bernie Sander supporter, but I do think it is incumbent on us to call out such bullshit behavior.

I also think its important that Bernie Sanders be careful to not let those who are very unhappy with Bernie's success to goad us or take advantage of us because of this letter.

And, please, if you know who did this, Bernie Sanders supporter or not, please inform Skinner.

Eta: Just to be clear I am not criticizing those who voted to hide Bravenak's posts or any of the others who were recently hidden. When emotions run high and people argue vigorously, word choices make all the difference in a 4:3 hide versus of 3:4 leave.

Once upon a time I was an anti-gun nut.

Growing up in a NYC suburb in NJ you didn't see many guns in the hands of civilians. Police, yes. Military honor guards, yes. A few bolt actions in the homes of Sussex County hunters, yes. But in general, I grew up believing that guns were not ok in the hands of the average person. I really couldn't even tell you what the 2nd Amendment was at that time. I didn't own my first firearm (a .357 revolver) until my 30s.

Its not that I didn't enjoy shooting. At Boy Scout summer camps I hit the range for rifle shooting using the camp's Ruger 10/22s. For fun we did some skeet shooting with some side-by-side shotguns and silhouette shooting with 30-06s. But still, I didn't own any firearms and thought they were not a good idea in the hands of civilians.

My attitudes started to change when I went to school in the southwest. I saw more people carrying sidearms. Rifles and shotguns were in pick-up truck racks. My friends, who were described fairly as 'crunchy granola', had rifles and handguns. As I made friends with locals who lived out of town and had shotguns handy for dangerous animals or people. They talked about how they were responsible for protecting their livestock, pets, kids, etc from predators because police were not around and would take too long to arrive.

When the AWB came around, I thought, "Who would need one of those? They are just made to kill people in crimes." I thought they were machine guns. When the Columbine massacre happened, I was puzzled because I thought those weapons were banned. When the background check became law, I thought that would keep guns out of the hands of criminals. I was puzzled when that didn't happen.

3 reasons I went from being an anti-gun nut to being suspicious of gun control hegemony.

1. Learning more about the creation of the 2nd Amendment as a protection of a civil liberty.
I came to understand the 2nd Amendment as a way to ensure that the people will always have arms in their possession so that they could serve in a militia if needed. Serving in a militia wasn't the only reason the people's right to keep and bear arms was protected, but local militias was one reason to protect the RKBA. Moreover, US vs Miller makes it clear that if a weapon could be shown to have "some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia" then the people could keep and bear them. If Miller had been alive at the time of the trial and demonstrated that some short shotguns were used in warfare in WWI, the NFA (or parts of it) might have been ruled unconstitutional. The ability to keep and bear arms was a right to help the people protect themselves.

2. Some pro-gun control people lie.
My impression that the AWB was about machine guns was created by misleading news and activist videos showing machine guns when in reality the law dealt with semi-auto rifles. Another lie was that these so-called assault weapons were responsible for a majority of police deaths and that wasn't and isn't true. Also, the whole teflon-coated and Black Talon cop-killer bullets were complete fabrications.

3. I have reasons to keep and bear arms
The most important of these is self-defense, but I also enjoy recreational and competitive shooting. I doubt the unorganized militia will ever be called up, but I can be there if asked.

Today, I'm definitely on the pro-RKBA side of things, but recognize that some people have earned the distinction of permanently or temporarily losing the right and civil liberty to keep and bear arms. I'm all for NICS being expanded and allowing civilians to access it to conduct a background check before transferring a weapon just like FFLs. Most weapons bans are useless. For example, Connecticut actually had a state version of the federal AWB that expired, and the AR-15 Lanza used to massacre school children and their teachers was totally compliant with CT law. The same gun would have been compliant under the proposed AWB of 2013 with a different handgrip that cost a mere $35.

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next »