Gun Common Sense

ANOTHER GUN FIGHTER SPEECH

BY PRESIDENT BARRACK OBAMA

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The White House

January 5, 2016

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PRESIDENT BARRACK OBAMA:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you, everybody.  Please have a seat.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.

Mark, I want to thank you for your introduction.  I still remember the first time we met, the time we spent together, and the conversation we had about Daniel.  And that changed me that day.  And my hope, earnestly, has been that it would change the country.

Five years ago this week, a sitting member of Congress and 18 others were shot at, at a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona.  It wasn’t the first time I had to talk to the nation in response to a mass shooting, nor would it be the last.  Fort Hood.  Binghamton.  Aurora.  Oak Creek.  Newtown.  The Navy Yard.  Santa Barbara.  Charleston.  San Bernardino.  Too many.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Too many.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Too many.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Too many.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thanks to a great medical team and the love of her husband, Mark, my dear friend and colleague, Gabby Giffords, survived.  She’s here with us today, with her wonderful mom.  (Applause.)  Thanks to a great medical team, her wonderful husband, Mark — who, by the way, the last time I met with Mark  — this is just a small aside — you may know Mark’s twin brother is in outer space.  (Laughter.)  He came to the office, and I said, how often are you talking to him?  And he says, well, I usually talk to him every day, but the call was coming in right before the meeting so I think I may have not answered his call — (laughter) — which made me feel kind of bad.  (Laughter.)    That’s a long-distance call.  (Laughter.)  So I told him if his brother, Scott, is calling today, that he should take it.  (Laughter.)  Turn the ringer on.  (Laughter.)

I was there with Gabby when she was still in the hospital, and we didn’t think necessarily at that point that she was going to survive.  And that visit right before a memorial — about an hour later Gabby first opened her eyes.  And I remember talking to mom about that.  But I know the pain that she and her family have endured these past five years, and the rehabilitation and the work and the effort to recover from shattering injuries.

And then I think of all the Americans who aren’t as fortunate.  Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns — 30,000.  Suicides.  Domestic violence.  Gang shootouts.  Accidents.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters, or buried their own children.  Many have had to learn to live with a disability, or learned to live without the love of their life.

A number of those people are here today.  They can tell you some stories.  In this room right here, there are a lot of stories.  There’s a lot of heartache.  There’s a lot of resilience, there’s a lot of strength, but there’s also a lot of pain.  And this is just a small sample.

The United States of America is not the only country on Earth with violent or dangerous people.  We are not inherently more prone to violence.  But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency.  It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries.  It’s not even close.  And as I’ve said before, somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.

And instead of thinking about how to solve the problem, this has become one of our most polarized, partisan debates — despite the fact that there’s a general consensus in America about what needs to be done.  That’s part of the reason why, on Thursday, I’m going to hold a town hall meeting in Virginia on gun violence.  Because my goal here is to bring good people on both sides of this issue together for an open discussion.

I’m not on the ballot again.  I’m not looking to score some points.  I think we can disagree without impugning other people’s motives or without being disagreeable.  We don’t need to be talking past one another.  But we do have to feel a sense of urgency about it.  In Dr. King’s words, we need to feel the “fierce urgency of now.”  Because people are dying.  And the constant excuses for inaction no longer do, no longer suffice.

That’s why we’re here today.  Not to debate the last mass shooting, but to do something to try to prevent the next one.  (Applause.)  To prove that the vast majority of Americans, even if our voices aren’t always the loudest or most extreme, care enough about a little boy like Daniel to come together and take common-sense steps to save lives and protect more of our children.

Now, I want to be absolutely clear at the start — and I’ve said this over and over again, this also becomes routine, there is a ritual about this whole thing that I have to do — I believe in the Second Amendment.  It’s there written on the paper.  It guarantees a right to bear arms.  No matter how many times people try to twist my words around — I taught constitutional law, I know a little about this — (applause) — I get it.  But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.

I mean, think about it.  We all believe in the First Amendment, the guarantee of free speech, but we accept that you can’t yell “fire” in a theater.  We understand there are some constraints on our freedom in order to protect innocent people.  We cherish our right to privacy, but we accept that you have to go through metal detectors before being allowed to board a plane. It’s not because people like doing that, but we understand that that’s part of the price of living in a civilized society.

And what’s often ignored in this debate is that a majority of gun owners actually agree.  A majority of gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking feud from inflicting harm on a massive scale.

Today, background checks are required at gun stores.  If a father wants to teach his daughter how to hunt, he can walk into a gun store, get a background check, purchase his weapon safely and responsibly.  This is not seen as an infringement on the Second Amendment.  Contrary to the claims of what some gun rights proponents have suggested, this hasn’t been the first step in some slippery slope to mass confiscation.  Contrary to claims of some presidential candidates, apparently, before this meeting, this is not a plot to take away everybody’s guns.  You pass a background check; you purchase a firearm.

The problem is some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules.  A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked.  A recent study found that about one in 30 people looking to buy guns on one website had criminal records — one out of 30 had a criminal record.  We’re talking about individuals convicted of serious crimes — aggravated assault, domestic violence, robbery, illegal gun possession.  People with lengthy criminal histories buying deadly weapons all too easily.  And this was just one website within the span of a few months.

So we’ve created a system in which dangerous people are allowed to play by a different set of rules than a responsible gun owner who buys his or her gun the right way and subjects themselves to a background check.  That doesn’t make sense.  Everybody should have to abide by the same rules.  Most Americans and gun owners agree.  And that’s what we tried to change three years ago, after 26 Americans -– including 20 children -– were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Two United States Senators -– Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, and Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, both gun owners, both strong defenders of our Second Amendment rights, both with “A” grades from the NRA –- that’s hard to get  — worked together in good faith, consulting with folks like our Vice President, who has been a champion on this for a long time, to write a common-sense compromise bill that would have required virtually everyone who buys a gun to get a background check.  That was it.  Pretty common-sense stuff.  Ninety percent of Americans supported that idea.  Ninety percent of Democrats in the Senate voted for that idea.  But it failed because 90 percent of Republicans in the Senate voted against that idea.

How did this become such a partisan issue?  Republican President George W. Bush once said, “I believe in background checks at gun shows or anywhere to make sure that guns don’t get into the hands of people that shouldn’t have them.”  Senator John McCain introduced a bipartisan measure to address the gun show loophole, saying, “We need this amendment because criminals and terrorists have exploited and are exploiting this very obvious loophole in our gun safety laws.”  Even the NRA used to support expanded background checks.  And by the way, most of its members still do.  Most Republican voters still do.

How did we get here?  How did we get to the place where people think requiring a comprehensive background check means taking away people’s guns?

Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying.  I reject that thinking.  (Applause.)  We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world.  But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.

Some of you may recall, at the same time that Sandy Hook happened, a disturbed person in China took a knife and tried to kill — with a knife — a bunch of children in China.  But most of them survived because he didn’t have access to a powerful weapon.  We maybe can’t save everybody, but we could save some.  Just as we don’t prevent all traffic accidents but we take steps to try to reduce traffic accidents.

As Ronald Reagan once said, if mandatory background checks could save more lives, “it would be well worth making it the law of the land.”  The bill before Congress three years ago met that test.  Unfortunately, too many senators failed theirs.  (Applause.)

In fact, we know that background checks make a difference.  After Connecticut passed a law requiring background checks and gun safety courses, gun deaths decreased by 40 percent — 40 percent.  (Applause.)  Meanwhile, since Missouri repealed a law requiring comprehensive background checks and purchase permits, gun deaths have increased to almost 50 percent higher than the national average.  One study found, unsurprisingly, that criminals in Missouri now have easier access to guns.

And the evidence tells us that in states that require background checks, law-abiding Americans don’t find it any harder to purchase guns whatsoever.  Their guns have not been confiscated.  Their rights have not been infringed.

And that’s just the information we have access to.  With more research, we could further improve gun safety.  Just as with more research, we’ve reduced traffic fatalities enormously over the last 30 years.  We do research when cars, food, medicine, even toys harm people so that we make them safer.  And you know what — research, science — those are good things.  They work.  (Laughter and applause.)  They do.

But think about this.  When it comes to an inherently deadly weapon — nobody argues that guns are potentially deadly — weapons that kill tens of thousands of Americans every year, Congress actually voted to make it harder for public health experts to conduct research into gun violence; made it harder to collect data and facts and develop strategies to reduce gun violence.  Even after San Bernardino, they’ve refused to make it harder for terror suspects who can’t get on a plane to buy semi-automatic weapons.  That’s not right.  That can’t be right.

So the gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage.  (Applause.)  We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom.  (Applause.)

Now, I want to be clear.  Congress still needs to act.  The folks in this room will not rest until Congress does.  (Applause.)  Because once Congress gets on board with common-sense gun safety measures we can reduce gun violence a whole lot more.  But we also can’t wait.  Until we have a Congress that’s in line with the majority of Americans, there are actions within my legal authority that we can take to help reduce gun violence and save more lives -– actions that protect our rights and our kids.

After Sandy Hook, Joe and I worked together with our teams and we put forward a whole series of executive actions to try to tighten up the existing rules and systems that we had in place.  But today, we want to take it a step further.  So let me outline what we’re going to be doing.

Number one, anybody in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks, or be subject to criminal prosecutions.  (Applause.)  It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing it over the Internet or at a gun show.  It’s not where you do it, but what you do.

We’re also expanding background checks to cover violent criminals who try to buy some of the most dangerous firearms by hiding behind trusts and corporations and various cutouts.

We’re also taking steps to make the background check system more efficient.  Under the guidance of Jim Comey and the FBI, our Deputy Director Tom Brandon at ATF, we’re going to hire more folks to process applications faster, and we’re going to bring an outdated background check system into the 21st century.  (Applause.)

And these steps will actually lead to a smoother process for law-abiding gun owners, a smoother process for responsible gun dealers, a stronger process for protecting the people from — the public from dangerous people.  So that’s number one.

Number two, we’re going to do everything we can to ensure the smart and effective enforcement of gun safety laws that are already on the books, which means we’re going to add 200 more ATF agents and investigators.  We’re going to require firearms dealers to report more lost or stolen guns on a timely basis. We’re working with advocates to protect victims of domestic abuse from gun violence, where too often — (applause) — where too often, people are not getting the protection that they need.

Number three, we’re going to do more to help those suffering from mental illness get the help that they need.  (Applause.)  High-profile mass shootings tend to shine a light on those few mentally unstable people who inflict harm on others.  But the truth is, is that nearly two in three gun deaths are from suicides.  So a lot of our work is to prevent people from hurting themselves.

That’s why we made sure that the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — (laughter and applause) — that law made sure that treatment for mental health was covered the same as treatment for any other illness.  And that’s why we’re going to invest $500 million to expand access to treatment across the country.  (Applause.)

It’s also why we’re going to ensure that federal mental health records are submitted to the background check system, and remove barriers that prevent states from reporting relevant information.  If we can continue to de-stigmatize mental health issues, get folks proper care, and fill gaps in the background check system, then we can spare more families the pain of losing a loved one to suicide.

And for those in Congress who so often rush to blame mental illness for mass shootings as a way of avoiding action on guns, here’s your chance to support these efforts.  Put your money where your mouth is.  (Applause.)

Number four, we’re going to boost gun safety technology.  Today, many gun injuries and deaths are the result of legal guns that were stolen or misused or discharged accidentally.  In 2013 alone, more than 500 people lost their lives to gun accidents –- and that includes 30 children younger than five years old.  In the greatest, most technologically advanced nation on Earth, there is no reason for this.  We need to develop new technologies that make guns safer.  If we can set it up so you can’t unlock your phone unless you’ve got the right fingerprint, why can’t we do the same thing for our guns?  (Applause.)  If there’s an app that can help us find a missing tablet — which happens to me often the older I get — (laughter) — if we can do it for your iPad, there’s no reason we can’t do it with a stolen gun.  If a child can’t open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure that they can’t pull a trigger on a gun.  (Applause.)  Right?

So we’re going to advance research.  We’re going to work with the private sector to update firearms technology.

And some gun retailers are already stepping up by refusing to finalize a purchase without a complete background check, or by refraining from selling semi-automatic weapons or high-capacity magazines.  And I hope that more retailers and more manufacturers join them — because they should care as much as anybody about a product that now kills almost as many Americans as car accidents.

I make this point because none of us can do this alone.  I think Mark made that point earlier.  All of us should be able to work together to find a balance that declares the rest of our rights are also important — Second Amendment rights are important, but there are other rights that we care about as well. And we have to be able to balance them.  Because our right to worship freely and safely –- that right was denied to Christians in Charleston, South Carolina.  (Applause.)  And that was denied Jews in Kansas City.  And that was denied Muslims in Chapel Hill, and Sikhs in Oak Creek.  (Applause.)  They had rights, too.  (Applause.)

Our right to peaceful assembly -– that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora and Lafayette.  Our unalienable right to life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -– those rights were stripped from college students in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara, and from high schoolers at Columbine, and from first-graders in Newtown.  First-graders.  And from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

Every time I think about those kids it gets me mad.  And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.  (Applause.)

So all of us need to demand a Congress brave enough to stand up to the gun lobby’s lies.  All of us need to stand up and protect its citizens.  All of us need to demand governors and legislatures and businesses do their part to make our communities safer.  We need the wide majority of responsible gun owners who grieve with us every time this happens and feel like your views are not being properly represented to join with us to demand something better.  (Applause.)

And we need voters who want safer gun laws, and who are disappointed in leaders who stand in their way, to remember come election time.  (Applause.)

I mean, some of this is just simple math.  Yes, the gun lobby is loud and it is organized in defense of making it effortless for guns to be available for anybody, any time.  Well, you know what, the rest of us, we all have to be just as passionate.  We have to be just as organized in defense of our kids.  This is not that complicated.  The reason Congress blocks laws is because they want to win elections.  And if you make it hard for them to win an election if they block those laws, they’ll change course, I promise you.  (Applause.)

And, yes, it will be hard, and it won’t happen overnight.  It won’t happen during this Congress.  It won’t happen during my presidency.  But a lot of things don’t happen overnight.  A woman’s right to vote didn’t happen overnight.  The liberation of African Americans didn’t happen overnight.  LGBT rights — that was decades’ worth of work.  So just because it’s hard, that’s no excuse not to try.

And if you have any doubt as to why you should feel that “fierce urgency of now,” think about what happened three weeks ago.  Zaevion Dobson was a sophomore at Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tennessee.  He played football; beloved by his classmates and his teachers.  His own mayor called him one of their city’s success stories.  The week before Christmas, he headed to a friend’s house to play video games.  He wasn’t in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He hadn’t made a bad decision.  He was exactly where any other kid would be.  Your kid.  My kids. And then gunmen started firing.  And Zaevion — who was in high school, hadn’t even gotten started in life — dove on top of three girls to shield them from the bullets.  And he was shot in the head.  And the girls were spared.  He gave his life to save theirs –- an act of heroism a lot bigger than anything we should ever expect from a 15-year-old.  “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

We are not asked to do what Zaevion Dobson did.  We’re not asked to have shoulders that big; a heart that strong; reactions that quick.  I’m not asking people to have that same level of courage, or sacrifice, or love.  But if we love our kids and care about their prospects, and if we love this country and care about its future, then we can find the courage to vote.  We can find the courage to get mobilized and organized.  We can find the courage to cut through all the noise and do what a sensible country would do.

That’s what we’re doing today.  And tomorrow, we should do more.  And we should do more the day after that.  And if we do, we’ll leave behind a nation that’s stronger than the one we inherited and worthy of the sacrifice of a young man like Zaevion.  (Applause.)

Thank you very much, everybody.  God bless you.  Thank you.  God bless America.  (Applause.)

END

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photo above

Texas Defender

http://bondarms.com/bond-arms-handguns/texas-defender

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free read

the short novel by Rawclyde!

Gun 2013

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Gun Law

how 'bout a ride

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“Well Regulated”

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I would like to argue in favor of potentially deadly firearms being treated on the same par as potentially dangerous privately-owned motor vehicles.  In other words, I am for federally-dictated state-run licensing, registration, and insurance requirements for gun ownership and utilization.  Of course, nobody who owns a firearm wants to do this.  I remember years ago I didn’t want to be forced to buy insurance for my car.  But when it became illegal not to do so, I did.  So go ahead, I’d like to see you keep a keen watch on our government ~ locked and loaded ~ and licensed registered insured…

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2nd Amendment

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A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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Gun Logic

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I’ve noticed whenever a gun “expert” argues against gun regulation of any kind, that eventually, if not right away, their logic falls apart 2 or 3 times by the time they’ve made their point.
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For example, when the celebrated National Rifle Association (NRA) spokesman, Wayne LaPierre, explains the uselessness of government gun buybacks, he says in a book he wrote, Shooting Straight, that some people are thus encouraged to steal guns to sell them.  I think he’s stretching logic like a rubber band here.  So I say, well, Wayne, lock-up the guns you want to keep during the gun buyback so that nobody steals them.  There you go: 1+1=2…
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~ Rawclyde!
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Inside the Bird Cage Saloon IV

mrs earp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephine_Earp

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GUN 2013

Chapter 18

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Here we stand, Ted & I, a couple long hairs.  He is a goofy guitar player and me ~ I am the White House’s second most favorite secret agent.  I don’t know where the first most favorite secret agent might be.  Horseback riding, I guess, with another one of her many beaus.

Here we stand, he & I, each under his own hat, each under his own wing of the wooden eagle perched above.  We’re all caught by surprise with Ted Newscent’s sudden shift in viewpoint.  This is an epic seismic happening.  What if, what if ~ it’s real?  Mr. Gun Rights backs Mr. Gun Regulation?  He is standing right here next to me ~ and now I note an old style Colt 44 or 45 revolver, a beautiful specimen, stuck down the front of his pants ~ must be an 8,000 dollar piece of equipment thar.

Here we stand.  I’m looking around ~ such a shiftless man I am ~ part weasel ~ yearning for a knothole in the floor that I can crawl through.  Meanwhile Newscent & Peeintheair eyeball each other ferociously.  I imagine electrical current crackling from one pair of eyeballs to the other.  Maybe I’m not imagining this at all.  Maybe the lightning is actually there between these two men.  A storm is brewing.  I almost expect rain to start pouring down any second right here inside the Bird Cage Saloon.

Peeintheair thunders, “What stops a bad man with a gun?”

The loyal choir of over-armed NRA toughs all around their leader drops its jaws & instead of the gang’s raucous reply, to my immediate left I hear a more subdued perhaps more powerful answer, “A good woman with a gun.”

What?

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sami

http://kentoney.com/3D/sami2.htm

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She done sneaked in through the front door & is standing to the other side of old horn-dog Rawclyde ~ daughter of a bee-bee gun!  She’s armed to the teeth and then some.  This is downright ridiculous.  How’d I get into this situation?  I’m way out of my league here.  A bunch of NRA loophole-ed morons full of freshly loaded hardware not but ten feet away wanting to splatter yours truly into splats of blood on the floor and walls, Ted “fucking!” Newscent to the right o’ me pulling a Colt 45 outta his trousers, and to the left o’ me ~ we now got camofloughed, armoured yet provocatively revealed, mounted by ten kinds of firearms, one gattling & a cannon of some kind, not to mention a wheel barrow full of ammo & blunderbusses, so loaded down with evil intent that she’s setting up a tripod in front of her to bare some of the weight, my young & dynamic mysterious mystique secret agent partner, Submissivania Whapp!

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crystal

http://heidilevine.photoshelter.com/image/I0000Xb.yslaxzWU

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Everybody gots their guns drawn.  Except me.  I don’t have a gun.  In my old age I’m just an eunuch.  I’d rather be killed than kill.  And Submissivania’s last tripod nut is tight.  So I figure now’s a good time to lecture all these fine & fancy folks:

“You know, my fellow Americans, a bunch of citizens with loopholes in their brains, armed to the teeth, isn’t what makes this nation free.  The Bill of Rights, of course, is what makes America free.  The 2nd Amendment of this Bill of Rights advocates a well regulated militia made up of the people & their firearms.  Let’s concentrate for a moment on the phrase ‘a well regulated militia.’  Concentrate real hard.  Okay, get a license to own your guns & register & insure them.  Now you’re real Americans.  And everybody else with guns are illegal & can be legally disarmed.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you were a well regulated militia, my fellow citizens, duly licensed, your guns registered, and insured.  And that’s the other half of the 2nd Amendment that Mr. Peeintheair & you have been ignoring since I don’t know when.”

~ Rawclyde!

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PICT0009

http://www.gungoddess.com

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NRA leaders flirt with treason…

civl war gettysburg

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by Keith Darling-Brekhus

Examiner.com

April 10, 2013

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The NRA’s leadership embraces an insurrectionist ideology that asserts that the intent of the second amendment is to permit American citizens to shoot and kill federal agents and law enforcement officers in the event that they believe those agents are attempting to facilitate or impose some form of government tyranny. This dangerous doctrine, that flirts with committing treason, is the cornerstone of the gun lobby’s opposition to any and all forms of gun regulation. This ideology is explicitly expressed by many of the NRA’s congressional supporters. For example, freshman Republican Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida, an NRA (National Rifle Association) endorsed candidate in 2012, refusing to yield any concessions on gun regulation, recently told a reporter that it was the birthright of every American to have “the same equipment as the military.” Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre argued that, “without any doubt” Americans need the firepower to fight back against the government if government agents come knocking at the door. In 2009, at the CPAC Convention, LaPierre stated bluntly that “Our Founding Fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules.”

In 2010, Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle voiced thinly veiled approval for the assassination of her Democratic opponent, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, when she stated that “If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.” The same year, Allen West’s future chief of staff bluntly remarked “If ballots don’t work, bullets will.” Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann insisted in 2009, that she wanted her constituents “armed and dangerous” to fight an energy tax bill.

The most frightening part about this insurrectionist ideology is that the people who adhere to it, already believe we are living under tyranny or headed rapidly in that direction. With this in mind, many of them already contend that the time for armed insurrection is now or at least it is coming very soon. For example, the day after Barack Obama’s historic election victory in 2008, NRA board member and former Montana sheriff Jay Printz authored a blog post that stated menacingly, “Well, my friends, it looks like we had better put in a good supply of powder and lead!!!!” and on the same day he posted an image that stated, “When they come for your guns…give them your bullets!”

In 2011, Schaeffer Cox, head of the Second Amendment Task Force and the Alaska Peacemakers Militia was arrested with four of his followers and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping, and arson. He was sentenced to a 25 year prison term. Cox believed the US was sliding into tyranny and he bragged, incorrectly I might add, that he and his supporters had the government “outmanned and outgunned.” Cox’s petition to justify overthrowing the US government was signed by NRA board member and Alaska Republican Congressman Don Young.

In March of 2012, a Republican Committee county chair in Virginia published a newsletter that exemplifies the insurrectionist philosophy of the gun lobby and the Republican far right. The newsletter argued that America under Obama was so tyrannical that if he could not be voted out in November, armed insurrection would become necessary. It read, in part, “We have before us a challenge to remove an ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized … The ultimate task for the people is to remain vigilant and aware that the government, their government, is out of control, and this moment, this opportunity, must not be forsaken, must not escape us, for we shall not have any coarse [sic] but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November. This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.”

This year, the Wisconsin branch of the NRA circulated a newsletter calling for armed revolt against the US government. The newsletter argued that “elections are not the solution to our problem; elections are the problem” and it called for toppling the US government. When the definition of tyranny extends to a democratically elected president, and elections are defined as the problem rather than a solution, the strident voices calling for armed rebellion are not patriots but rather they are more akin to traitors ready and willing to betray the democracy we live in to pursue their own selfish and misguided ends.

Nobody has expressed the NRA’s insurrectionist philosophy more eloquently than board member, serial convicted wildlife poacher and “past his prime” misogynist rock musician Ted Nugent, who while hoisting two machine guns on stage during a concert screamed with unbridled hostility “Obama, he’s a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun. Hey Hillary! You might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.” Nugent concluded his vicious hate-filled rant by shouting the word “freedom!”

Rejecting Insurrectionist Guerrilla War Fantasies

The debate over regulating guns is a contentious one and a necessary one in a functioning democracy. Individuals have a right to self-protection and to recreational hunting and target shooting. However, neither self-protection nor recreation require unlimited access to military grade weapons, and citizens have a right to a reasoned debate on what gun law reforms might be necessary in the wake of tremendous tragedies like the Aurora theater shooting, the Sikh temple murders and the Sandy Hook massacre. Such difficult debates warrant a public discussion on the merits of gun legislation and what measures can be done to improve public safety without violating the constitutional rights of American citizens.

Reason does not however dictate that we continue to indulge the paranoid rantings and delusional fantasies of militant fanatics whose grasp of reality is so thin that they make comparisons between Barack Obama and tyrants like Adolf Hitler, with no sense of irony and no acknowledgement of hyperbole. In these twisted fantasies, any attempt to curtail any type of weaponry or to require any type of background check is tantamount to tyranny. No government agency is intent on disarming the American citizenry simply by advocating a few sensible pieces of legislation designed to curb gun violence. The idea that the US federal government is determined to disarm and enslave us, has no credible evidence on its side. The fact that gun-toting ideologues can not distinguish between a text like “Mein Kampf” and a text like “The Audacity of Hope”, is but one of the flaws of the insurrrectionist line of thinking. Passing an energy tax, raising corporate income taxes or enacting an expansion of government assistance for health care does not constitute tyranny. Setting a limit on magazine sizes no more leads down the slippery slope to gun confiscation than setting a speed limit leads to automobile confiscation.

The notion that citizens need to have military style weaponry to fight their government implies that the government is intent on waging war on the citizenry, a notion that is on the surface absurd. Yes, our government does sometimes violate the civil liberties of some of the nation’s citizens and we as a nation must collectively be vigilant in fighting government excesses. However, the paranoid fantasy that we need to resist our government by force or that the idea that any one citizen has the right or the ability to wage war on the government and win is simply lunacy.

President Obama has not committed his Munich Beer Hall Putsch nor instigated his version of Krystallnacht, and any suggestion that this nation’s government is on a march to disarm the population and enslave us in concentration camps because we do not have enough AR-15s at our disposal is not a serious argument and it does not belong in a reasonable debate among women and men deciding the future of our nation. The fact that a powerful gun lobby’s board of directors and their allies in Congress embrace such nonsensical paranoia is not sufficient reason to treat their arguments as if they hold intellectual merit, no matter how often they are repeated on the cable news networks.

If the men and women in the NRA leadership and their Congressional supporters want to fantasize about waging guerrilla warfare against the federal government they have the freedom to do that and nobody has yet taken the guns away from Wayne LaPierre, Ted Nugent or Don Young despite their incendiary rhetoric. However, when they throw their tantrums and launch rhetorical firebombs at the government, we do not have to accept their claims of patriotism and let them wrap those arguments in the American flag. In a functioning democracy, armed insurrection is not a form of patriotism. It is treason and the NRA leadership is flirting with treason when they embrace paranoid insurrectionist fantasies and abandon all reason in the process. It is time we call it what it is and stop treating such arguments as intellectually valid or morally defensible.

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courtesy of Gun Control Now USA:

http://guncontrolnowusa.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/flirting-with-treason-the-insurrectionist-ideology-of-the-nra-leadership/

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Inside The Bird Cage Saloon III

Destry_Saloon2

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GUN 2013

Chapter 17

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These bar stories are a dime a dozen.  Why must  a story always pass thru a saloon?  What’s the big deal about having a drink?  And why are these men having one, two, whatever number, before noon?  Everyone except Ted Newscent, who is now sitting in the back corner with his back to the wall, sober, playing a tune.

And I ~ I don’t have a drink either.  The bartender returns from the cellar, passes out ammo.  He looks up from his task, spies the spy who is standing under the bird cage dome forlornly scratching his head and picking his nose.

“What are you doing here?” asks the bartender.

Momentarily I ignore the bartender.  I’m wondering what happened to my hat.  It’s not on my head.  I look around.  It’s on the floor next to my foot.  Humph.  I pick up old faithful, slam it on top of where it belongs & finally peer back at the bartender.  “I’m looking for a rest room,” says I.

“It’s closed.”

That’s an obvious lie.  But then, I was lying too.  Suddenly I am in an unforgiving mood ~ perhaps a suicidal mood ~ seeing as everyone is loading AR-15 like conglomerates, like they’re heading out on a mission to destroy the federal government and I’m in the way.  I clear my throat, try to talk, but only a tweet comes out ~ like I’m a bird ~ prey for the big wooden eagle perched in the bird-cage dome above my head.  I clear my throat again & loudly, successfully, proclaim, “You men are breaking the law!”

This gets everybody’s attention.  The place is suddenly quiet but for a low slow twanging in the rear corner.  Then that dies.  And then it’s too quiet.

I especially don’t like the look Wayne Peeintheair is giving me.  He’s a confident man with bodyguards.  But he’s a crazy man too ~ crazy enough to dress up like a clown and hand out loaded derringers to kids on the street.  He is definitely in the midst of a nervous breakdown.  I can tell by the way he is twitching.  The whole right side of his body is a consistent jerk.  His askew hair is covering one eye.  His other eye is the evil eye.  The glare of this evil eye never wavers, never ceases.  I am the target.

“What stops a bad man with a gun?” hollers Peeintheair.

“A good man with a gun!” everyone hollers back.  Everyone is grinning, especially the goofy old guitar player in the back corner.  Everyone except me.

So I grin back at the evil eye.  It’s a formaldehyde-stiff dead man’s grin ~ but a grin nevertheless ~ something I learned to do in an earlier lifetime on the frontier when I was Davy Crockett, with just a knife, facing a bear.  But now I am unarmed ~ and, in a situation like this, I might as well be unarmed.  There’s too many of them.  A few safeties click.  A Peeintheair bodyguard slowly reaches into his coat.

I say, and with daring false bravado, “You’re all breaking the law ~ the law of the future!”

The bodyguard’s paw stops in midair.  An off-duty cop, draped in an “Iron Brotherhood” jacket, laughs.  Sitting in the back corner with the quiet guitar, Newscent bursts, “You’re crazy, Rawclyde!”

“Maybe I’m not crazy.  Maybe I’m a prophet,” says I.  “Maybe the law in the future will be you gotta have a license to own and bare a firearm, and all your firearms will have to be registered and insured ~ just like your privately-owned motor vehicle.  Then, and only then, when you comply with this law, will you be in compliance with the 2nd Amendment ~ instead of a bunch of gun-toting yahoos!”

“He’s right, damn it!” screeches Newscent in the back corner & in the midst of sudden realization & bright-eyed epiphany.   He attempts to leap from his chair, but groans instead & hobbles forward, getting old, but not too old to, thusly, pontificate, “Ever since that son of a bitch’s massacre in Newtown of those poor little first-graders in their school, in their own school, brothers, it’s been eating me alive ~ the truth!  And the truth is, the ‘well regulated militia’ half of the 2nd Amendment means we all gotta register our guns!”

And there Ted & I stood, side by side, staring them all down…

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Lizzy Frost & Friends

Go go dancers more fun than guns

http://lizzyfrost.wordpress.com

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Reply from Sen. Jeff Flake (R.AZ)

wt9_kelo

E-mail April 9, 2013

Dear Rawclyde!

Thank you for contacting me about gun control legislation.

In the wake of the tragic December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, there has been a surge in the introduction of congressional legislation attempting to address gun violence. A ban on assault weapons, restrictions on ammunition and magazines, and increased background check requirements have all been proposed.

As you may know, I support the Second Amendment, and I do not believe our society needs more laws restricting gun ownership. What we really need is to do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them, while ensuring that those who break existing laws are fully prosecuted.

To that end, I do not support universal background checks, which would be extremely costly, create further delays for those eligible to buy guns, and apply to private transfers between family members, friends, neighbors, and even firearms passed down through wills. I do support making the existing background check system more effective in order to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. For example, many states and federal agencies are not providing the required disqualifying records of individuals barred from buying guns to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which checks the names and records of would-be gun buyers to determine if they may possess a firearm. For this reason, I am an original cosponsor of S. 480, the NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013, which would require states and federal agencies to report individuals  involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, those incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case, and those found not guilty by reason of insanity – among others.  NICS. S. 480 was introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on March 6, 2013. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where it is awaiting further action.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to do so again in the future. I also encourage you to visit my website, which may be found at flake.senate.gov.

Sincerely,

Jeff Flake

United States Senator

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Photo:  Kelo Henderson “Pyramid of the Sun God” 1965

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Common Sense & The 2nd Amendment

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When he who was socially ill picked-up an assault weapon & killed twenty children in an elementary school, the right to bare firearms came into conflict with the right to life & the pursuit of happiness in the United States.

This happened in Connecticut & now, four months later, that state has the strictest gun laws in the nation.  Connecticut’s consequential legislative action in regards to the massacre of its school children is an enactment of that part of the 2nd Amendment about a “well regulated militia.”  A well regulated militia is the purpose of the right to bare firearms, according to the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The leaders of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and others have expanded the meaning of this amendment in good & bad ways.  However, these folks must realize, when twenty 6-year-old citizens are massacred by one of our less responsible gun-toting citizens, compromises are going to have to be made.  One of the compromises that must be worked-out is a wee bit more gun regulation ~ enforced gun regulation.  If certain senators and representatives in Washington D.C. do not yield to this common sense ~ let’s get rid of them.  Let’s vote them into oblivion no later than 2014.

~ Rawclyde!

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Photo:  Tom Paine

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America as a gun culture…

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“The AR-15 is today’s musket”

~ says David R. Keene NRA president…

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The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution:

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security
of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear
arms, shall not be infringed.”

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The automobile, like the gun, is a lethal instrument, and the states have recognized it as such by requiring that each driver as well as each car must be registered and that each driver must meet certain specified qualifications. It is mildly inconvenient to conform, but no one seriously objects to the general principle, as gun lobbyists do to gun registration… American legislators have been inordinately responsive to the tremendous lobby maintained by the National Rifle Association, in tandem with gunmakers and importers… One must wonder how grave a domestic gun catastrophe would have to be in order to persuade us. How far must things go?

~ Richard Hoffstadter

(1916 – 1970)

https://guncontrolnowusa.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/america-as-a-gun-culture-by-richard-hofstadter

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today_I_hate_the_whole_world_by_Lucretia

“Today I Hate The Whole World”

photo

by Lucretia

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