America’s escalating reliance on firearms as a means of settling petty arguments ratcheted up another level this weekend, when at least five biker gangs engaged in an all-out gun battle in Waco, Texas. The matter at issue: a parking spot. At least nine bikers were killed, and dozens more injured.
The original antagonists were the Cossacks Motorcycle Club of Texas, and the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, though at least three other motorcycle clubs from the Dallas/Forth Worth area rushed to the scene and participated in the shooting. The scene of the shootout was a parking lot of a shopping mall in Waco, where the Twin Peaks Restaurant (think Hooters, but with a less suggestive name) serves as a biker hangout. Management of the restaurant hosts a Bikers Night promotion every Thursday, and local police are so familiar with disputes arising between biker gangs at this restaurant, that they were at hand before Sunday’s shootout began. In the end, though, the Waco police were unwilling or unable to mobilize their paramilitary forces to stop the shooting, though the police do report that several officers exchanged gunfire with the bikers and may have injured or killed some of them.
By now, you’ve read or heard about the terrible tragedy in Santa Barbara last week: some rich white kid shot up a college campus apparently missed the one thing that would validate his entire existence. Continue reading →
I care about Alex Jones and his worldview about as much as I care about the Green Bay Packers…which is to say not at all. The man’s a blithering idiot, a brain-dead meat sack with the intellectual capacity and moral gravitasof David Frey What disturbs me aren’t so much his ridiculous, ill-considered opinions, which I could easily and well enough ignore; it’s the audience of drooling, foaming at the mouth acolytes he’s collected. If you’ve seen InfoWars, Jones’ self-congratulatory paean to mental masturbation and conspiracy theories, you’ve probably found yourself with a variation of the same reaction most lucid people have:
….The fact of the matter is that the Founding Fathers made a HUGE mistake in saddling us with the 2nd Amendment….
In the late 18th century, the 2nd Amendment made sense. Calling 911 wasn’t an option, and the average American faced very real and imminent threats of the sort we don’t today. 2013 finds us in a much different world than that of 1789. We have the benefit of the rule of law, efficient and well trained law enforcement, and the most powerful military in the world. Despite those who see violent criminals around every corner, we live in a much safer world today.
The problem we face today is that the 27 vague words that comprise the 2nd Amendment have created the current mess we’re in today…and it’s the Founding Fathers’ fault. If they’d intended for the right to bear arms to be sacrosanct and inviolate, don’t you think the 2nd Amendment would be two sentences instead of one run-on jumble? Their impreciseness has cost thousands of innocent citizens their lives. It’s also created a class of gun nuts who cling to the guns with a love that exceeds anything else in their lives….
Some moron is coming to NYC to give away shotguns.
The man behind an effort to put free shotguns in the hands of homeowners says he’ll dole them out in the Big Apple by the end of the year — and the lawmen may not be able to stop him.“We’re coming — and we’re going to get shotguns into the hands of responsible citizens,” said Kyle Coplen, who founded the nonprofit the Armed Citizen Project in January.
“When criminals fear the citizenry, it deters crime,” the 29-year-old added.
Um. No. Statistically, when criminals fear capture, it deters crime. This is why the homeowners best defense is his neighbors. Or noise from inside his home. Or even just a fake alarm sticker on his door. Or failing that, a strong lock.
Things didn’t get any better when a constituent invited Ayotte to her home for dinner and a discussion of “ways to reduce…instances of gun violence.”. Unfortunately, Ayotte declined the invitation, stating that she was too busymaking up silly reasons to avoid discussing gun control being a Senator to find time in her schedule. Yes, Ayotte is undoubtedly busy, but when she declined the invitation, many took it as her avoiding discussing a difficult issue. She looked small, petty, and afraid to engage constituents that don’t agree with her.
I understand that gun control, like many issues we face today, doesn’t lend itself to an easily arrived at, universally agreed upon solution. Good people can, and do, disagree…and crazy, unhinged people can, and do cling to their guns with a devotion they wouldn’t expend on their children. You’d think that somewhere in the middle there would be a place where we could arrive at a compromise. I’m willing, and I know many on the Left are. Unfortunately, the NRA and the gun nuts it represents refuse to countenance anything they perceive as reducing their gun “rights” even one iota.
How do you conduct a reasoneable and rational discussion with people who refuse to even contemplate compromise and threaten violent revolution if their “rights” are reduced even to the slightest degree? How do you negotiate with people who refuse to negotiate?….
SENATORS say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.
On Wednesday, a minority of senators gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get hold of deadly firearms — a bill that could prevent future tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., and too many communities to count.
Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.
The Congresswoman is far more eloquent than I could be in reaction to the cowardly, blood-thirsty vote that took place in the Senate yesterday, as 45 traitors voted to block a yes or no vote on…and here Congresswoman Giffords and I differ in what she defines as “common-sense”…on a bill that amounted to the Democrats throwing up their hands and saying, “Fine! YOU write a gun control bill!”
That’s what Patricia Maisch of Arizona said about the United States Senators who failed to vote on legislation broadening background checks on gun purchasers. A majority of Senators were ready to vote in favor of the legislation but that’s not how democracy works in the nation’s capital. In order to have a simple majority vote, 60 out of 100 Senators need to vote against allowing a filibuster. Instead of majority rule, we have super majority rule. It’s absurd and a nasty little inside the beltway trick but more on that later.
The legislation that stumbled and fell due to the super majority hurdle would have required expanded background checks for gun purchasers. If discovered in the background check, certain types of criminal records and serious mental illnesses would have denied the ability to purchase a weapon. The law is currently in place for weapons purchased at gun stores but not for those acquired at gun shows, conventions held all over the country where the seller is an exhibitor rather than a local business.
Since the initial legislation requiring store based background checks passed, 1.5 million gun purchases have been denied. Hardened criminals, wife beaters, and others presenting red flags lost their alleged First Amendment right to buy a gun, unless they bought it at a gun show. Why not close the loophole and make the law consistent?