Trouble is, Hitler never made such a speech in 1935. Nor is there any record that he ever spoke these particular words at all. This little “speech” was obviously written for him, many years after his death, by someone who wanted you to believe that gun registration is Hitler-evil.
What he did say, 7 years later, was this: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.” So it’s fair to conclude that he believed “gun control” had its uses. But that’s quite a different thing from claiming that “gun control” was instrumental in the NAZI rise to power.
And the truth is that no gun law was passed in Germany in 1935. There was no need for one, since a gun registration program was already in effect in Germany; it was enacted in 1928, five years before Hitler’s ascendancy. But that law did not
As a follow up to this, the count keeps growing higher…
The murder of Martinez, 32, brought the city closer to 500 homicides this year, statistics show. This year is the first time the city has had this many slayings since 2008.
While the city of Chicago has more working police officers per capita among the five major cities, it has the second-highest homicide rate. In terms of raw numbers, the city will finish 2012 with the highest number of murders in the country, statistics show.
It’s difficult to pinpoint a single cause for the increase in shooting deaths, but some point to gang turf wars, unseasonable warmth earlier in the year and the disbanding of special police units that specialized in tackling violent crime.
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy blamed the proliferation of guns onto Chicago’s streets and conflict among the city’s larger gangs for the rise in homicides. At recent press conferences, McCarthy has consistently said that while murders have increased, overall crime is down.
[Nathaniel T. Jackson’s] death was the 500th homicide in Chicago this year, marking a grim milestone. The city last reached that toll in 2008.
As of Thursday night, homicides were up 17 percent over last year in Chicago, and shootings had increased by 11 percent, according to police statistics.
Largely contributing to the spike was the unusual number of homicides that occurred during the early part of the year, when the city experienced unseasonable warmth. In the first three months of the year, homicides ran about 60 percent ahead of the 2011 rate.
Not to make light of the situation, at all, but having just watched Michael Moore’s documentary about gun control, Bowling For Columbine, I feel like I should add that it is rare that I feel threatened by gun violence in my normal areas of the city. When walking around, I don’t feel like I am in a war zone. A quick glance at the Near West Side Crime map validates my perspective – in the last month there has only been one homicide in this large area. If one adds in the Loop, the number of murders is still only one (i.e., there were zero homicides in the Loop in the last 12 months).
That said, something drastic needs to be done to reduce the number of gun murders in our city, our state, our country. The answer is not to bring back Al Swearengen and the thugs of Deadwood as suggested by the idiots of the National Rifle Association and their minions. I’d rather try Chris Rock’s solution of making each bullet cost $5,000…
“You don’t need no gun control, you know what you need? We need some bullet control. Men, we need to control the bullets, that’s right. I think all bullets should cost five thousand dollars… five thousand dollars per bullet… You know why? Cause if a bullet cost five thousand dollars there would be no more innocent bystanders. Yeah! Every time somebody get shut we’d say, ‘Damn, he must have done something … Shit, he’s got fifty thousand dollars worth of bullets in his ass.’ And people would think before they killed somebody if a bullet cost five thousand dollars. ‘Man I would blow your fucking head off…if I could afford it.’ ‘I’m gonna get me another job, I’m going to start saving some money, and you’re a dead man. You’d better hope I can’t get no bullets on layaway.’ So even if you get shot by a stray bullet, you wouldn’t have to go to no doctor to get it taken out. Whoever shot you would take their bullet back, like “I believe you got my property.”
I was amused to read about both of these incidents in the same morning.
Compare and contrast this story:
Police in Washington, D.C. are investigating NBC’s “Meet the Press” after the show’s host David Gregory appeared to display a high-capacity ammunition magazine during Sunday’s program, a spokeswoman for the police department confirmed to the Washington Post early Wednesday.
Washington, D.C.’s firearms regulations state that “No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device” even if it is not attached to a firearm. During his interview with National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre on Sunday, Gregory held what he said was a magazine capable of holding 30 bullets.
DC is really strict on gun laws, even after Heller, which tossed out some of the strictest gun regulations. So if there’s anywhere this would be illegal, it would probably be DC. But it sounds like the real issue might be something hard to get a read on beyond what’s contained in the Post article itself.
The article suggests an air of menace in the use of the gun — and that’s not terribly surprising if the situation was an inherently confrontational one (Armey was ordering people out of the office) and Armey associate came with a holstered handgun. But a lot of that is going to come down to perceptions. And the Post reporter might have played some of the gun angle up for effect.
But using a firearm to intimidate someone can be assault.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.