B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Archive for the ‘NRA’ tag

Clinging to Bibles and Guns

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Never Seems To Smile
Never Seems To Smile

Yowsa. I think we need to seriously consider banning churches – too much violence, too many religious-minded people are murderers. 

Braxton, a member of the church, was sitting in a back overflow area when another congregant tapped him on the shoulder and told him he had taken an already-occupied seat.

Ushers and others chose to clear the area and let Braxton cool down. But Storms, who is a church member but has no official role at Keystone Fellowship, approached him.

Storms asked Braxton to step outside with him, and Braxton punched him in the face.

Storms told police he was “trying to stop him because I was afraid he was going to hurt me and other people,” according to an arrest affidavit filed in the case.

But firing a gun in a crowded church is “unreasonable,” Steele said Thursday, as is the suggestion that Storms acted in self-defense.

“This is a situation where a gun is introduced into a fistfight,” he said.

The arrest affidavit filed in the case noted that Braxton came to church “only armed with his Bible.”

(click here to continue reading Montco man charged in church-service killing – philly-archives.)

via

First Stop Guns
First Stop Guns

And on a serious note, Trump, and the rest of the NRA/GOP want to remove gun free zones from nearly everywhere, except in the halls of Congress and other similarly creepy places.

Written by Seth Anderson

June 1st, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Posted in religion

Tagged with , , ,

Gun-Friendly Texas Is Getting Even Gunnier

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Don't Bring Yer Guns to Town
Don’t Bring Yer Guns to Town

As someone who frequently visits the foreign country of Texas, this frightens me a bit…

Texas is so gun-friendly that it is easier to get into the Capitol in Austin with a firearm than without one — licensed, gun-carrying lawmakers and members of the public have their own no-wait security lane, and the unarmed masses have to stand in line and slog through the metal detectors.

But on Friday, gun rights throughout the state expanded still more, as a new law took effect that allows certain Texans to wear their handguns in holsters on their hips — or in shoulder holsters, Dirty Harry-style — openly displaying the fact that they are armed as they work, shop, dine and go about their day.

Gun rights will advance again in August, when students and faculty members at Texas universities will be allowed to carry concealed handguns on campus, although openly carrying them is prohibited.

 

(click here to continue reading Gun-Friendly Texas Is Getting Even Friendlier – The New York Times.)

I’m so glad I survived growing up in Texas when I was younger and rasher, I lived through many confrontations with frat boys or other ne’er-do-wells, luckily nobody was killed because nobody had a pistol. We just used our fists, feet and voices, and we lived. 

Written by Seth Anderson

January 2nd, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with ,

America’s Police Departments Kill Civilians Frequently

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Police Line - Do Not Cross
Police Line – Do Not Cross.

In a free society, the numbers of annual fatal police shootings should be public so these cases can be thoughtfully discussed. The only reason these numbers are hidden is because the police doesn’t want to talk about them, and the police unions are still strong enough to block wider discussion and distribution of these troubling statistics.

The true number of fatal police shootings is surely much higher, however, because many law enforcement agencies do not report to the FBI database. Attempts by journalists to compile more complete data by collating local news reports have resulted in estimates as high as 1,000 police killings a year. There is no way to know how many victims, like [Michael] Brown, were unarmed.

By contrast, there were no fatal police shootings in Great Britain last year. Not one. In Germany, there have been eight police killings over the past two years. In Canada — a country with its own frontier ethos and no great aversion to firearms — police shootings average about a dozen a year.

Liberals and conservatives alike should be outraged at the frequency with which police in this country use deadly force. There is no greater power that we entrust to the state than the license to take life. To put it mildly, misuse of this power is at odds with any notion of limited government.

I realize that the great majority of police officers never fire their weapons in the line of duty. Most cops perform capably and honorably in a stressful, dangerous job; 27 were killed in 2013, according to the FBI. Easy availability of guns means that U.S. police officers — unlike their counterparts in Britain, Japan or other countries where there is appropriate gun control — must keep in mind the possibility that almost any suspect might be packing heat.

(click here to continue reading What America’s police departments don’t want you to know – The Washington Post.)

Forensic Services
Forensic Services.

These numbers are not good, which is due to a multitude of factors, some of which are structural issues with American society. Allowing the NRA to set policy doesn’t help either. We can all agree being a police officer is a challenging, shitty job, however, that doesn’t give officers absolute freedom to fire guns first, and ask questions later.

Popo Starry Pants
Popo Starry Pants

D. Brian Burghart wrote a piece for Gawker a few months ago about this paucity of information, and what it means:

The bottom line was that I found the absence of such a library of police killings offensive. And so I decided to build it. I’m still building it. But I could use some help. You can find my growing database of deadly police violence here, at Fatal Encounters, and I invite you to go here, research one of the listed shootings, fill out the row, and change its background color. It’ll take you about 25 minutes. There are thousands to choose from, and another 2,000 or so on my cloud drive that I haven’t even added yet. After I fact-check and fill in the cracks, your contribution will be added to largest database about police violence in the country. Feel free to check out what has been collected about your locale’s information here.

The biggest thing I’ve taken away from this project is something I’ll never be able to prove, but I’m convinced to my core: The lack of such a database is intentional. No government—not the federal government, and not the thousands of municipalities that give their police forces license to use deadly force—wants you to know how many people it kills and why.

It’s the only conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence. What evidence? In attempting to collect this information, I was lied to and delayed by the FBI, even when I was only trying to find out the addresses of police departments to make public records requests. The government collects millions of bits of data annually about law enforcement in its Uniform Crime Report, but it doesn’t collect information about the most consequential act a law enforcer can do.

I’ve been lied to and delayed by state, county and local law enforcement agencies—almost every time. They’ve blatantly broken public records laws, and then thumbed their authoritarian noses at the temerity of a citizen asking for information that might embarrass the agency. And these are the people in charge of enforcing the law.

(click here to continue reading What I’ve Learned from Two Years Collecting Data on Police Killings.)

Indeed.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 2nd, 2014 at 10:54 am

Posted in News-esque

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She’s Not A Girl Who Misses Much was uploaded to Flickr

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Dundas St West somewhere, Toronto.

Actual title and artist unknown.

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/npkL11

I took She’s Not A Girl Who Misses Much on September 07, 2013 at 06:54PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on May 21, 2014 at 03:01AM

Written by eggplant

May 21st, 2014 at 9:52 am

Where Are the Tears for The 260 School Children Killed in Chicago

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 Killing People Is Rude

The gun fever has not abated in our country, but we have to pay closer attention to it, for all of our sakes. 

David Muhammad writes:

It was a colleague in Chicago. I had emailed her the day before asking for research into one of the mentoring programs in the city’s schools for youth with the highest risk of being shot. 

She provided me with the information I was seeking. Then she included a P.S.: “What a devastating horrible day in CT. But frankly I wish people cared this much when it was children on the south and west sides of Chicago.”

I was snapped back into reality with the email. The tragedy in Newtown was truly horrific. But there is similar carnage carried out every day in the streets of America’s cities, especially in the President’s hometown of Chicago, where I work in Oakland, in Philadelphia, and many other cities across the nation. 

In 2010, nearly 700 Chicago school children were shot and 66 of them died. Last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended a memorial for 260 school children who had been killed in just the previous three years. On several occasions in the past year, tens of people have been shot in a single weekend on the streets of the city. The worst three-day stretch saw 10 killed and 37 wounded in gun fire. But Google the term “Chicago weekend shootings” and the results are far too many deadly weekends to count. 

Oakland, Calif. has seen a huge increase in shootings. Last year, three small children were murdered in shootings. The youngest victim hadn’t yet turned 2. Oakland has become the first city in the country to have its police force taken over by a federal court. Because of a lack of resources, the city has one of the lowest police to resident ratios in the country. 

Gun violence in America is a pandemic, but there is no round-the-clock news coverage. No national address from the President with tears. No pledge for urgent change. 

(click here to continue reading 260 School Children Killed in Chicago in 3 Years — Where Are the Tears for Them? | Alternet.)

Just to continue the theme: today’s Tribune reports

An 18-year-old man was shot and killed and five other people were wounded, including an 11-year-old boy, across Chicago Christmas evening and early this morning.

About 7 p.m., an 11-year-old boy was grazed in the arm in the 6200 block of South Michigan Avenue and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, according to police. He was walking in a group when he heard shots and felt pain.

(click here to continue reading Chicago Tribune – Overnight shootings leave 1 dead, 5 wounded across Chicago.)

I am considering creating a Tumblr blog just to focus on Chicago gun violence, and related topics, but haven’t gotten around to doing it yet.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 26th, 2012 at 11:02 am

Posted in News-esque,politics

Tagged with , ,

Politicizing Tragedy

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Fashionsense
How Mike Huckabee Imagines the World

I wasn’t going to write anything about the horrific events in Newtown, CT, but Christian Taliban propagandist Mike Huckabee has really enraged me with his illogical bloviating.

Steve Benen of Maddowblog has the video and transcript:

Neil Cavuto said that many invariably ask after tragedies like this, “How could God let this happen?” Huckabee responded:

Well, you know, it’s an interesting thing. We ask why there is violence in our schools but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage? […]

You know, God wasn’t armed. He didn’t go to the school. But God will be there in the form of a lot people with hugs and with therapy and a whole lot of ways in which I think he will be involved in the aftermath. Maybe we ought to let him in on the front end and we wouldn’t have to call him to show up when it’s all said and done at the back end.”

So, by Huckabee’s reasoning, the separation of church and state is at least partially responsible for a gunman killing 26 people, including 20 children. There are a few problems with such a perspective.

Theologically, many Christians believe God is omnipresent, and can’t be “systematically removed” from anything. For that matter, there’s very little in the Christian tradition that suggests God punishes children when constitutional law hurts His feelings.

Politically, Huckabee’s comments — seeking to exploit a violent tragedy to push a bogus cultuyre war agenda — are reminder that the former Arkansas governor and failed presidential candidate occasionally just isn’t a nice guy.

(click here to continue reading This Week in God – The Maddow Blog.)

According to Huckabee’s reasoning, if the children had sacrificed a virgin goat that morning, god would have taken time out of his busy schedule picking which football teams win, and whatever else he occupies his time with, and stopped the massacre. God may omnipotent, but he is apparently also petulant. “No goat sacrifice in my name today? Then thou shall die by the hands of a nut job with a high-powered gun.” As any student of history realizes, Christians, even devout Christians, are not immune to violence. 

So nice of Mr. Huckabee to blame the victims for not praying harder, after they are shot to death. I blame the NRA instead. They are actually on this earth, and from my perspective, as culpable in the murders as any other entity.

Who Would Jesus Shoot

which leads me to the second point I’d like to make: namely that the corporate media is complicit with their shameless and breathless reporting whenever a slaughter occurs. Where is the same sort of hyperventilating when ten people were shot just last night in Chicago?  Unfortunately, a fairly typical number of shootings for 21st century Chicago. 

Watch Your Damn Mouth.jpg
Watch Your Damn Mouth

Roger Ebert said it more eloquently: 

Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about ‘Basketball Diaries’?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.

The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”

In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.

(click here to continue reading Elephant :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews.)

Written by Seth Anderson

December 15th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

George Washington was a socialist

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If you use the same reasoning the Rethuglicans are using against implementing the individual insurance mandate, then George Washington was a socialist too

South branch of the river

Joe Conason writes:

One of the favorite complaints against the healthcare reform bill is that the founding document doesn’t permit the federal government to order anyone to buy a product or service. That supposedly renders illegitimate the individual insurance mandate that is part of the bill.

As every fervent advocate of gun rights ought to know, however, that argument suffers from a glaring historical flaw. Only a few years after the nation’s Founding Fathers ratified the Constitution, Congress approved the Militia Act of 1792, which was duly signed by George Washington, then the president and commander in chief.

Establishing state militias and a national standard for their operation, the Militia Act explicitly required every “free able-bodied white male citizen” between the ages of 18 and 45, with a few occupational exceptions, to “provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder..”

Within six months, every citizen enrolled and notified of his required militia service had to equip himself as specified above. There was spirited debate in Congress as to whether the state ought to subsidize the purchase of arms for men too poor to afford their own, so that everyone could serve his country. Subsidized or not, however, the founders saw no constitutional barrier to a law ordering every citizen to buy a gun and ammo.

[Click to continue reading So George Washington was a socialist, too! – Joe Conason – Salon.com]

Ru-oh! Better warn the Texas Board of Education so they can scrub mention of George Washington from any textbooks…

Written by Seth Anderson

March 25th, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , , , ,

Reading Around on December 16th through December 17th

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A few interesting links collected December 16th through December 17th:

  • The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs : AT&T: Chokehold is “irresponsible and pointless” – It’s their own fault, of course. Go look at their financial statements and open up the Financial Operations and Statistics Summary and look at capital expenditures over the past eight quarters. I’m no math whiz, but it looks like capex has gone down by about 30% over the time period. Scroll down a bit to the Wireless section and check out data revenues — they’re up 80% over the same period.
  • WordPress › Pretty Link « WordPress Plugins – Shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website. You can now shorten links using your own domain name (as opposed to using tinyurl.com, bit.ly, or any other link shrinking service)! In addition to creating clean links, Pretty Link tracks each hit on your URL and provides a full, detailed report of where the hit came from, the browser, os and host.
  • The Conway Twitty Tribute Pistol (MP3s) – WFMU’s Beware of the Blog – If you’d prefer to remember Conway Twitty for his talents as a singer and songwriter, here are a few MP3s to help you out. All were written by Twitty, with the exception of Pop A Top, which was composed by Nat Stuckey.

Written by swanksalot

December 17th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Posted in humor,Links,Music

Tagged with , , , , , ,

More Guns Means More Deaths

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Bob Herbert reports this salient fact:

Killing People Is Rude

Since Sept. 11, 2001, when the country’s attention understandably turned to terrorism, nearly 120,000 Americans have been killed in nonterror homicides, most of them committed with guns. Think about it — 120,000 dead. That’s nearly 25 times the number of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For the most part, we pay no attention to this relentless carnage. The idea of doing something meaningful about the insane number of guns in circulation is a nonstarter. So what if eight kids are shot to death every day in America. So what if someone is killed by a gun every 17 minutes.

The goal of the National Rifle Association and a host of so-called conservative lawmakers is to get ever more guns into the hands of ever more people. Texas is one of a number of states considering bills to allow concealed guns on college campuses.

[Click to continue reading Bob Herbert – The American Way – NYTimes.com]

First Stop Guns

I have nothing against hunters owning rifles, and even responsible homeowners having pistols, but allowing more weapons to be carried in public is ridiculous. I don’t want to live in Deadwood, circa 1872, I want to live in the modern world. Assault rifles in the hands of 19 year old college students is not a solution, it is a problem, it is a danger to all of us.

Written by Seth Anderson

April 15th, 2009 at 8:58 am

Posted in government,politics

Tagged with , , ,

No Hunting or Shooting

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No Hunting or Shooting, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Sign reads:
No Hunting or Shooting
and
Firearms Prohibited Unless Cased and Unloaded

at the entrance the Badlands National Park.

I’m surprised nobody has shot the sign full of holes…

Though as Rob points out, the sign is awfully new and shiny, like it was recently replaced.

Written by swanksalot

September 11th, 2008 at 8:25 am

Posted in Photography

Tagged with , ,

July Fourth Massacre

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Killing People Is Rude

Since Valentines Day has already passed.

Just hours after the court’s decision on Thursday, gun rights groups sued the City of Chicago, seeking to invalidate several municipal codes, including a 1982 ordinance that effectively barred handguns by forbidding their registration in the city.

Chicago officials were also steadfast in saying they believed that the court’s decision, which left open possibilities for local gun ordinances, would have little immediate effect.

“We feel we will be able to continue enforcing those ordinances very aggressively,” Jenny Hoyle, a spokeswoman for Chicago law department, said of the codes challenged by the N.R.A.

[From Challenges to Bans on Handguns Begin – NYTimes.com]

Just what every urban environment needs, more guns!

Written by swanksalot

June 28th, 2008 at 12:55 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,