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

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Does owning a gun make you safer?

The United States has the most heavily armed civilian population in the First World; our homes contain enough firearms for every man, woman and child.

Why do so many Americans own guns? The main reason, according to surveys, is protection. Advocates argue that guns in the home both deter crime (criminals refrain from even trying to break in because they fear being shot by an armed citizen) and thwart it (an armed citizen can stop a crime in progress, preventing injury or theft).

The scientific evidence, however, provides little support for these arguments. Quite the opposite.

In terms of deterrence, a recent study found that states with higher levels of household gun ownership have higher levels of firearm crime and do not have lower levels of other types of crime.

Posted by SecularMotion | Wed Aug 5, 2015, 05:49 AM (42 replies)

Guns are the problem, not the answer

In 1969, I toted a gun around Vietnam. My fondest desire after coming home was to never carry a weapon again and, to this day, I haven’t.

Don’t get me wrong; I was glad to be armed back then because things got hairy once in a while. But there is no comparing a war zone like Vietnam (or Iraq or Afghanistan) to life in Fort Collins, or Denver or even the south side of Chicago.

Gun enthusiasts and the NRA would have you believe that today’s America is a scary place. Statistically, it’s not … for most citizens there’s little to be afraid of regarding gun violence. The argument that everyone should be armed to the teeth to protect person and property is simply a marketing ploy used to sell more guns.

Yes, terrible gun violence has occurred in 2015: the recent Lafayette, Louisiana, theater shooting spree; the Chattanooga Marine killings; the Charleston church massacre. Yet each one of these incidents can be explained by the shooter’s mindset … mental illness, lone-wolf terrorism, bigotry.

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Aug 4, 2015, 06:15 AM (7 replies)

Federal judge wants to know if FBI still has guns belonging to Terry Nichols

DENVER — The federal judge who presided over the Oklahoma City bombing trials wants information from the FBI before considering Terry Nichols’ request for guns seized from him 20 years ago.

Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch on Friday ordered federal authorities to report to him whether the FBI still has the guns.

Last month, Nichols asked Matsch to order the FBI to turn over guns agents seized from his Herington, Kansas, home soon after the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Nichols, serving life prison terms for helping Timothy McVeigh with the bombing, wants his guns turned over to either one of his two ex-wives or his sister. He did not identify the type of guns but said there were about 10 of them.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sun Aug 2, 2015, 05:31 AM (1 replies)

Open-carry nut arrested after threatening armed attack against Kansas courthouse

A 22-year-old man was arrested in Wichita, Kansas after threatening to attack the local courthouse if he did not agree with the verdict in a recent murder trial, KAKE-TV reported.

Authorities said the suspect, Samuel A. McCrory, had been spotted toting an AR-15 assault rifle, a handgun and an ax around the city on several occasions in recent months in support of the state’s open-carry laws. A picture of him aired on KAKE also showed the suspect wearing a mask resembling the Guy Fawkes masks favored by the hacker activist group Anonymous, but police did not identify him as part of the group.

While police could not respond to residents’ complaints about McCrory’s past activities, they took note of him on Wednesday for online posts regarding the murder trial of Kyler Carriker, who was charged in the 2013 death Ronald Betts during a drug deal. Carriker was found not guilty on Thursday.

“Is it out of line to storm the courthouse if he’s found guilty?” the suspect wrote. He later added, “If we get a get a decent number of people to charge through the front doors and security, the police there will attack us. Often times [sic], the only way to defend yourself from a cop is to kill the cop which means using a rifle to penetrate the body armor.”

Posted by SecularMotion | Sun Aug 2, 2015, 05:13 AM (34 replies)

New York City Considers Divesting From Walmart Over Gun Sales

NEW YORK -- New York City may divest hundreds of millions of dollars from Walmart and other big-name stores that sell guns and ammunition less than two years after it yanked investments in the country's biggest gun manufacturers.

Trustees for the New York City Employees Retirement System, or NYCERS, one of the largest U.S. pension funds with more than 300,000 active members, passed a resolution this week to study the impact of selling its shares in major gun retailers, including Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Cabela's.

“Our nation is bleeding from gun violence, and we cannot and should not bolster the gun retailers whose weapons are used to kill and maim our citizens,” Public Advocate Letitia James, who introduced the resolution, said in a statement.

"Our public money must not be invested in companies that fundamentally undermine our public safety," James continued. "We need to study the potential consequences and risks of continuing to own equity and fixed income holdings in gun retailers, whose weapons and ammunition reach the streets, towns and cities across our country.”

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat Aug 1, 2015, 06:48 AM (21 replies)

Police revoking more gun permits

FRANKFORT, Ky. – With a new legion of gun owners carrying concealed firearms in Kentucky, authorities are suspending or revoking gun permits at the highest number in years, according to the latest totals from state police.

Interest in Kentucky’s concealed-carry program reached a record peak in 2013, with authorities issuing more than 59,500 new licenses, a 117 percent increase over the previous year.

But with so many more gun owners authorized to carry, statutory actions against licenses are also on a sharp rise.

State police counted 1,339 instances when licenses were either suspended, revoked or subject to both in 2014. That’s a 125 percent increase over the previous year and the largest total since at least 2004.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat Aug 1, 2015, 05:56 AM (32 replies)

Man who had hidden bunker filled with guns facing more charges

RINGWOOD — A borough man is facing more charges after authorities recently completed an inventory of weapons seized from a hidden bunker in his Skyline Drive home and found hundreds of high-capacity magazines, machine guns, an assault rifle and a grenade launcher.

Authorities first responded to 35-year-old Mariusz Cebula's home on July 17 to seize his weapons as part of the terms of a domestic-violence restraining order when they found a hidden room below his basement floor containing a cache of more than 40,000 bullets and a number of fully operational — and illegal — firearms, Ringwood Police Chief Joseph Walker said.

The county sheriff's bomb squad also ended up responding to the home after receiving a report of possible live explosive devices, but those devices later turned out to be deactivated ordnance from World War II.

"He's a collector (of firearms) but certain things you can collect only if they've been made inoperable," Walker said. "He had fully operational weapons."

Posted by SecularMotion | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:00 AM (0 replies)

Automatic weapons missing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Fully automatic weapons are missing from the Christian County Sheriff’s Department, the interim sheriff says in a 19-page report.

However, the report said the sheriff’s department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are working together to find the missing weapons and notes that they could have been “legitimately transferred to another agency or authorized (Federal Firearms Licensed) firearms dealer.”

The report called the missing weapons “one of the most disturbing things.”

“Additionally, silencers, suppressors, and full automatic trigger components are also gone with no paper trail,” the report said.

Posted by SecularMotion | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 09:56 AM (7 replies)

Change your gun laws, America

Since 9/11, the United States has responded aggressively to the danger of terrorism, taking extraordinary measures, invading two countries, launching military operations in many others, and spending more than $800 billion on homeland security. Americans have accepted an unprecedented expansion of government powers and invasions of their privacy to prevent such attacks. Since 9/11, 74 people have been killed in the United States by terrorists, according to the think tank New America. In that same period, more than 150,000 Americans have been killed in gun homicides, and we have done . . . nothing.

Our attitude seems to be one of fatalism. Another day, another mass shooting. Which is almost literally true. The Web site shootingtracker.com documents that in the first 207 days of 2015, the nation had 207 mass shootings. After one of these takes place now, everyone goes through a ritual of shock and horror, and then moves on, aware that nothing will change, accepting that this is just one of those quirks of American life. But it is 150,000 deaths. Almost three Vietnams.

After last week’s incident in Lafayette, La., the governor of the state and Republican presidential candidate, Bobby Jindal, pointed his finger at what has now become the standard explanation for these events: “Look, every time this happens, it seems like the person has a history of mental illness.”

But it makes little sense to focus on mental health. The United States has a gun homicide rate that is at least a dozen times higher than those of most other industrialized countries. It is 50 times higher than Germany’s, for instance. We don’t have 50 times as many mentally disturbed people as Germany does — but we do have many, many more guns.

Posted by SecularMotion | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 07:33 PM (8 replies)

When the Gun Lobby Tries to Justify Firearms Everywhere, It Turns to This Guy

Yet as Lott's profile rose, his work came under scrutiny. The National Research Council, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, assembled a panel to look into the impact of concealed-carry laws; 15 of 16 panel members concluded that the existing research, including Lott's, provided "no credible evidence" that right-to-carry laws had any effect on violent crime. Economists Ian Ayres of Yale University and John Donohue of Stanford University argued that Lott had drawn inaccurate correlations: Cities had experienced a spike in crime in the 80's and 90's in part because of the crack epidemic, not because of strict gun laws. When they extended their survey by five years, they found that more guns were linked to more crime, with right-to-carry states showing an eight percent increase in aggravated assault.

Kleck reexamined Lott's work and found that he hadn't accounted for missing data. "It was garbage in and garbage out," he says. Even Kleck, who conducted a controversial, yet often-cited survey on defensive gun use, observes, "Do I know anybody who specifically believes with more guns there are less crimes and they're a credible criminologist? No." David Hemenway, the director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, has concluded that "virtually all of Lott's analyses are faulty; his findings are not 'facts' but are erroneous." Lott maintains that the missing data Kleck refers to had no impact on his final conclusions, and that the "vast majority" of economists and criminologists support his findings.

Researchers pressed Lott, then a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, to release the data behind his claim that 98 percent of defensive gun uses in the United States involved a would-be victim merely brandishing a gun. Lott claimed that it was based on a data from a survey he had conducted—but that the data had been lost in a computer crash. Lott redid the survey in 2002; of more than 1,000 people surveyed, seven said they'd used a gun to defend themselves. Of those seven, six merely flashed a firearm in self-defense. Based on these responses, plus the lost data, Lott still asserts that more than 90 percent of defensive gun uses involve brandishing a gun.

As criticism of Lott mounted, an online commenter, who identified herself as a former student of Lott's at Penn named Mary Rosh, lavishly praised her former professor and attacked his critics. "He was the best professor that I ever had," she wrote. After it came out in 2003 that Rosh and Lott shared an internet address, Lott admitted to the sock puppetry, saying that he had been receiving obnoxious phone calls when using his real name, and some of Rosh's comments were possibly written by his family members on a shared email account. "In most circles, this goes down as fraud," wrote Science editor-in-chief Donald Kennedy in the magazine. And yet, he observed in a blistering op-ed, "Legislators in a number of states are still considering liberalizing concealed-weapon laws, and Lott's book plays a continuing role in the debate. That moves this story from high comedy to a troubling challenge in social policy that isn't funny at all."

Posted by SecularMotion | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 05:59 AM (14 replies)
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