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

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Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals

Chicago has many law-abiding gun owners who handle their weapons safely and responsibly. The ordinance proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to regulate gun sales in the city is not about them. It's about Chicago's other gun owners: violent thugs who kill innocents as well as each other while terrorizing countless citizens with the ever-present threat of death by bullet.

Those are the people who have given this city a murder rate far higher than that of other big cities, including New York and Los Angeles. The measures Emanuel requests won't incapacitate all or most of them. But they would make a significant difference in how easy it is for criminals to get guns.

Emanuel would prefer to allow no gun shops. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Chicago's ban on handgun ownership, the city passed a law outlawing gun stores. But in January that ban also fell, at the hands of a federal judge who ruled that it violated the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

He gave Chicago six months to enact a new ordinance allowing gun stores. But he stressed that "nothing in this opinion prevents the city from considering other regulations ... on sales and transfers of firearms to minimize the access of criminals to firearms."

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat May 31, 2014, 06:49 AM (7 replies)

Lawsuits a necessary weapon against gun sellers

Hidden safely behind one screen or another, wicked cowards like to insult Rochester’s crime victims. They might type that a teenager deserved to be shot because he was out past 10 p.m. Or that murders of city residents aren’t really so bad because they lead to fewer welfare recipients.

Their towering intellects were on display after news that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and people hurt by the 2012 Webster Christmas Eve shootings would be suing Gander Mountain.

“If they win, I hope the relatives and everyone involve (sic) get CANCER!” a person using the name Mancave Heywood wrote in Facebook comments following the article. “(Unprintables) in this world just want an easy payout!”

“Heroes no more!” wrote Jennifer Valentine of the two firefighters who were killed rushing to put out a fire on Christmas Eve and the two who survived their injuries.

Posted by SecularMotion | Fri May 30, 2014, 06:56 AM (9 replies)

You say gun control doesn't work? Fine. Let's ban guns altogether.

In a post Tuesday, I listed the mass shootings since January 2013 in which at least three people were killed. It’s an agonizingly, depressingly long list, and I cited it as the prime reason we need meaningful gun control. The post received the usual blowback from gun owners, most of whom skipped over the scope of gun deaths in this country to look more myopically at last week’s tragic events at Isla Vista (which I mentioned only in passing, seeing this problem as much broader than the most recent headlines).

But there also have been responses from people who share my disgust at the endless gun violence that pervades American culture. A few asked what should be done. My personal preference? It’s a decidedly minority viewpoint, but I say, ban them, with a carve-out for hunting weapons.

For example: Hunters could own shotguns (and rifles where state laws allow them for hunting), but they would have to be registered and the owners would have to pass a gun safety course before they could get a hunting license (already a requirement in most, if not all, places). That license would be a prerequisite for registering a hunting weapon. Resale of a weapon should be monitored to preclude passing it along to unqualified people. Ammunition sales would be tracked much like we do sales of pseudoephinedrine (an ingredient in meth).

As for handguns, assault-style weapons, etc., let’s have a flat-out ban. Beyond the histrionics of the gun lobby, there is no defensible reason for such weapons to be a part of our culture. They exist for one purpose: to kill. Yes, hobbyists also like to use guns for target shooting and other nonlethal purposes, but it’s hard to say that desire for sport outweighs the atrocious level of gun-related deaths in this country.

Posted by SecularMotion | Thu May 29, 2014, 10:12 AM (34 replies)

New gun law does not pertain to many campsites

BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. —Georgia's new gun law goes into effect July 1 and it is already causing some confusion in Georgia campgrounds.

Channel 2's Diana Davis found that local park rangers have had to ask some campers carrying firearms to leave.

The campgrounds around Allatoona Lake are expected to be jammed this coming Memorial Day weekend.

Park Rangers told Davis some campers are confused about Georgia’s new, more permissive gun law.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sun May 25, 2014, 08:12 AM (1 replies)

When it comes to common-sense gun laws, moms will never give up

When I launched Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, I understood I would encounter opposition from those who took issue with my view – the same held by most gun owners – that firearm safety and responsibility go hand-in-hand with our Second Amendment rights.

I knew that sometimes these debates would get heated. In fact, I’ve always welcomed and embraced debate. That said, I’ve also always vowed to remain civil and to avoid cruel, ad hominem attacks in my work as a gun violence prevention advocate.

Unfortunately, as several recent incidents chronicled in Mother Jones make clear, a number of people on the extreme other side of this debate have shown they have no interest in adhering to a similar pledge.

In recent months, the vitriol coming from the other side has reached new levels of concern.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat May 24, 2014, 09:06 AM (15 replies)

At least one American city has sensible gun laws


Last week a federal judge in Washington, D.C., upheld the District of Columbia’s common-sense gun-registration laws. They are laws that should be emulated in St. Louis.

Unfortunately, they can’t be. State law preempts local jurisdictions from gun laws that are any more restrictive than the ones passed by the state — and Missouri takes perverse pride in having some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation.

The Legislature, in the last two years, has considered nullifying federal gun laws. Lawmakers who want to ignore the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause should sympathize with a city that wants to nullify the state’s preemption law. The guess here is that they wouldn’t.

The District of Columbia, as a stand-alone entity, doesn’t have to worry about gun-happy rural and suburban Republican lawmakers who fear the gun lobby. Having lost the headline part of the 2008 Supreme Court case D.C. v. Heller — the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to own firearms — Washington’s city council set about reading the fine points of the decision.

Posted by SecularMotion | Wed May 21, 2014, 05:51 PM (70 replies)

What the running tally of shooting deaths in Cuyahoga County can tell us

The editorial board's look at firearm-related deaths in Cuyahoga County this year is intended to provide an informed picture of lives lost and communities affected; to highlight some of the public policy issues involved; and to examine whether gun violence is a growing public health crisis in the county.

Among the policy issues that hinder efforts to halt illegal firearm sales is the difficulty in tracing crime guns -- in part because of federal legislative impediments.

Also of concern is Ohio's failure to enact a safe-storage law to encourage gun owners to secure their firearms properly, to keep them out of the hands of minors.

The latest Cuyahoga County figures are for April. During the month, county Medical Examiner Tom Gilson ruled that gunshots had claimed the lives of 12 residents. Seven were murdered; five took their own lives.

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue May 20, 2014, 09:37 AM (1 replies)

Pediatricians Take on the NRA Over Gun Safety

For the past three decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics—some 62,000 members strong—has been an outspoken voice on the issue of gun control, a position that has landed it on the NRA’s (admittedly very long) list of enemies. In 1992, the AAP issued its first policy statement supporting a handgun and assault weapons ban, making it the first public health organization to do so, and it has long recommended that doctors talk about gun safety with parents. Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, the AAP has stepped up attempts to educate parents about gun safety around children.

But as the fight over gun rights grows ever more virulent at the national level, the AAP and individual doctors have quietly begun to take a softer stance on the issue, turning their focus to peddling realistic policies rather than clinging to a hard-and-fast no-guns line.

On a recent Sunday in April, 70 doctors and scientists associated with the AAP filed into a convention center in Vancouver to discuss firearm injury prevention. Presenters clicked through PowerPoint slides highlighting topics such as risk factors for gun injuries, popular gun-safety myths, and stats on suicide and homicide due to guns in the home. “The issue of guns really follows directly from all the concerns we have about injuries in general. This is one kind of injury that endangers the health and life of kids,” said Dr. Robert Sege, a Boston Medical Center pediatrician, who gave a presentation on how to talk about guns with parents.

The AAP’s outgoing president, Thomas McInerny—who made the Sandy Hook massacre a call to action for gun safety during his one-year post—sat in the audience. While the AAP has been advocating for an end to gun violence for some 30 years now, the shooting in Newtown shocked the nation and galvanized the AAP’s doctors to redouble their efforts in support of new gun-control measures. Newtown pediatrician Laura Nowacki lost eight of her patients in the massacre at Sandy Hook. “I’ve never spoken to the media until all of this happened. But I really believe I have to stand up. I have to use my voice,” she told the AAP News in June.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sun May 18, 2014, 06:00 AM (6 replies)

Concealed permit holder accused of brandishing gun in bar

CHARLOTTE COUNTY - A concealed weapons permit holder has been arrested after he allegedly brandished a gun at an Englewood bar.

Deputies were called at 1 a.m. Saturday to Calico Jack's, 1950 Beach Road, after patrons reported that a man displayed a gun and pointed it at someone, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office.

Rock Lavoie, 53, was arrested Monday when deputies spotted a man matching the suspect description walking down Beach Road. A loaded . 45 caliber handgun was found inside Lavoie's fanny pack, deputies reported.

A video of the incident shows Lavoie allegedly holding the gun and then pointing it at a man, who took the firearm and laid it on the bar, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sun May 18, 2014, 05:57 AM (53 replies)

The Stupid Things That Gun Nuts Do

Just this past Friday, I explained how I like to extend certain subject matter into open-ended series, if for no other reason than so often, the same stuff comes up again and again. Said another way, shit doesn’t just happen; it happens over, and over, and over.

Nowhere is that more true than in the sphere of American gun nuttery, and it’s no mystery why. In fact, I consider it a guiding principle of human nature, as basic to understanding the behavior we see around us as knowing that those who abuse drugs often have addictive personalities, or that fat people have a tendency to eat more than slim people do.

As simple as I can make it, this guiding principle would read: Not only do stupid people do stupid things, they never learn to stop doing them.

As this principle relates to gun nuts, how many times do we have to hear of some guy showing his piece off to friends with the assurance, “Don’t worry... it’s not loaded,” seconds before he puts a slug through his ceiling—if he’s lucky—or his wife’s head (if he’s not)?

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat May 17, 2014, 08:52 AM (17 replies)
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