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Member since: Sun Jan 14, 2007, 01:51 PM
Number of posts: 7,981

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The NRA’s fuzzy, decades-old claim of ‘20,000’ gun laws

“Senator, there needs to be a change in the culture of prosecution at the entire federal level. It's a national disgrace. The fact is, we could dramatically cut crime in this country with guns and save lives all over this country if we would start enforcing the 9,000 federal laws we have on the books.”

— National Rifle Association Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jan. 30, 2013

Many readers have asked us about this claim of 9,000 federal gun laws, which was later repeated by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday when LaPierre appeared on that program. When we checked with NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam for the sourcing, he said that LaPierre had misspoken.

“If anything, he understated the number of laws,” Arulanandam said, noting that the NRA generally refers to “20,000 laws.”

Indeed. A Nexis search found nearly 500 references in media reports, often by NRA officials or their allies, but also by the NRA’s foes. It is repeated in letters to the editors in newspapers big and small. The figure has stretched back almost five decades. Here’s a sampling:

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:41 PM (2 replies)

A Debunking of Pseudo-Historian David Barton's Book on the Second Amendment

Like many a good Christian, pseudo-historian David Barton likes guns and, of course, thinks that every person in America has an unlimited constitutional -- and biblical -- right to own and carry them.

Barton, not surprisingly, has been saying some pretty wild things on the subject recently, many of them on Glenn Beck's web-based TV show, where he went beyond advocating that teachers be armed, saying that the students should be armed, telling this story about an attempted school shooting in the 1850s:

"The great example, in the 1850s you have a school teacher who's teaching. A guy -- he's out in the West -- this guy from New England wants to kill him and find him. So he comes into the school with his gun to shoot the teacher, he decides not to shoot the teacher because all the kids pull their guns out and point it at him and say, 'You kill the teacher, you die.' He says, 'Okay.' The teacher lives. Real simple stuff."

Barton gives no source for his story about those gun-toting kids of the 1850s saving their teacher, making that story impossible to fact check, but many of the other things he's been saying can be checked. This is because they're based on quotes that can be found in his 2000 book, The Second Amendment: Preserving the Inalienable Right of Individual Self-Protection, which, of course, contains a plethora of those footnotes he's famous for.

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:19 AM (0 replies)

Fact check: Gov't officials and assault weapons bill

TheTeaParty.net falsely claims in an email that Sen. Dianne Feinstein's proposed assault weapons ban would exempt "all government officials" from the ban. While the bill would exempt military and law enforcement officials, it would not exempt legislators or administrative staff.

The email further misrepresents the proposed bill, claiming that "she [Feinstein] wants to take your handguns, rifles and other weapons away from you." In fact, the proposal would grandfather in all of the existing weapons owned by Americans, so no weapons will be "taken away" from anyone.

Feinstein, a Democratic from California, and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a Democrat from New York, unveiled their proposed legislation at a press conference on Jan. 24. The bill, called the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, seeks to reinstate and expand on the 1994 assault weapons ban, which was allowed to expire in 2004.

According to an email blast from TheTeaParty.net, under the Feinstein-McCarthy proposal, "We are not all equal under the law."

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:50 AM (5 replies)

NJ man shot deer from truck while using girlfriend as gunrest

A South Jersey man has been charged by Pennsylvania authorities with allegedly forcing a female companion to help him in an illegal hunt — at times using her head as a gun rest to steady his weapon.

The man then is alleged to have sold the deer meat to restaurants in central New Jersey.

Mark N. Jarema, 38, was imprisoned in Bayside State Prison in Leesburg when authorities from the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office extradited him on Monday.

He had been in prison since June 5, 2012 on weapons charges unrelated to the deer hunting case.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat Feb 2, 2013, 07:56 AM (6 replies)

'Known schizophrenic' bought guns before arrest in mother's shooting death

An Oklahoma City man was able to buy guns at stores in Moore and Del City, despite being “visibly” mentally ill, in the weeks before he shot his mother to death and later dismembered her corpse, police say.

Gerald David Hume, who had several mental health-related run-ins with Oklahoma City police before his mother's killing in November, bought the guns at a Walmart in Moore and Gun World in Del City, according to Oklahoma City police.

Oklahoma City Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said the fact that Hume, 52, was able to get the guns — despite being “visibly” mentally ill — is a scary reality in Oklahoma and a majority of the states in the nation.

Nelson said officers who've dealt with Hume described him as being “obviously” mentally ill.

Posted by SecularMotion | Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:05 AM (18 replies)
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