Archives for category: Guns

The sheriff of Madison County, North Carolina, reacted to the massacre of students in Uvalde, Texas, by putting an AR15 in every one of the six schools in the district. The guns will be locked in a safe, and breaching tools will be nearby. So don’t come into one of those schools to kill little children!

Imagine the scenario. A gunman with an AR15 shoots his way into the school, as the deranged killer at the Sandy Hook school did a decade ago. He blasts through the door, kills everyone he sees. Meanwhile, the designated defender goes to the safe, breaks it open with the breaching tool, and takes out the AR15.

By that time, the killer has had enough time to mow down the children in at least two classrooms.

The problem in Uvalde wasn’t the lack of weapons. Dozens of heavily armed officers hung out in the corridor outside the classrooms for over an hour. They had guns. What they lacked was courage, brains, and leadership.

This is a fabulous video of a rally for Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas. He was in West Texas, which is red red red. He is explaining why he thinks the gun laws for purchasing an AR15 are too lax. The Uvalde mass murderer bought two of them as soon as he turned 18.

That video is the whole rally. If you want to see the crucial one-minute e crept, it’s here.

Someone in the crowd laughed as Beto talked about the lethal power of an AR15 turned on children.

Beto let him have it. Verbally.

“You May think it’s funny, motherf—-er, but I don’t.” The crowd went wild.

A must-see.

CORRECTION! In the original post, I erroneously said that Adrian Fontes lost in a race for Secretary of State in a race against a Trumper. In fact, Fontes won the Democratic primary and will face a Trumper in November. His opponent insists that Trump won the 2020 election despite multiple recounts and even a Republican-sponsored recount (by the “cyber ninjas”).

Adrian Fontes recently ran for Secretary of State in Arizona and won the Democratic primary. He will face off against a Trumper in the fall.. He is a former Marine and combat veteran. In this post on MSNBC, he carefully explains the real meaning of the Second Amendment. The Constitution and the amendment are not ambiguous.

Fontes will face off in November against Mark Finchem. Finchem attended the January 6 insurrection.

“This is the defining race for our Republic,” said Fontes, the former Maricopa County recorder, who oversaw elections in 2018 and, most notably, 2020. “It will let the world know whether we will surrender to foolish conspiracies or whether we will support our Republic that Benjamin Franklin so eloquently said needs to be kept.”

Fontes carried nine of the 15 counties, including Maricopa, where he served as county recorder from 2017-2021. The Democratic race revolved around the need to defend Arizona’s election process and protect democracy. But late in the campaign, questions arose about Bolding’s ties to a nonprofit he runs and whether he had properly distanced himself from its political support for his campaign.

Fontes touted himself as the only candidate who could take on “a Trump sycophant and Jan. 6 insurrectionist,” a clear reference to Finchem….

Finchem, a state lawmaker, has maintained the election was fraudulent, and rode this platform of election denial and reform to a resounding 17.5 percentage point margin of victory in the GOP primary on Tuesday night, besting three opponents. He has called his win a mandate.

Finchem wants to eliminate early voting, a position the Arizona Republican Party is pushing in a case before the state Supreme Court, and along with Lake is asking a federal judge to bar the use of electronic machines in the Nov. 8 election.

The Republican Finchem continues to support Trump’s lies and efforts to destroy democracy.

I started receiving these mailing recently. I don’t know why.

Please click on the links below to see how easy it is to buy a killing machine. No background check. No age limit. No waiting period. On the Internet, a killer’s bonanza. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s latest decision about the right of every person to “bear arms” almost anywhere (not in courtrooms!), I could buy one or more of these weapons, strap it on, and carry it to the grocery store, to a movie theater, or to a restaurant. That’s what the Founding Fathers wanted, say the six extremists on the High Court. I disagree. The Founding Fathers wanted a land where people could live in freedom and peace, not in terror.

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Peter Greene reports the selling of heavily clad bunkers for classrooms to protect children against killers.

We have a problem. There are 400 million guns owned by the population. One of our major political parties is adamantly opposed to any restraint on buying and selling more guns.

Other societies insist on background checks, proof of training, safes for guns, and a dozen other ways to minimize the misuse of these deadly weapons. Even the most tepid effort to limit gun ownership will be loudly opposed in this country. The recent bipartisanship deal on gun control won’t change any of that.

The recent assassination of the former Prime Minister of Japan, which has rigid limits on gun ownership, was held up by gun lovers as proof that gun control doesn’t work. Japan had a total of ten gun deaths last year.

So, Greene points out, since we do nothing to restrict gun ownership, we create a response to the problem. Buy bunkers for children in classrooms. This could be a billion-dollar business.

PS: then there’s the case of the Uvalde elementary school. Just-released videotape showed that the police, fully armed, stayed out of the classrooms where the killer was, for 77-78 minutes. As children and teachers died, the police held back. Why? They didn’t need a key. They didn’t need more weapons. They didn’t need more armor. They needed courage.

The massacre in Highland Park, Illinois, was sickening. And to think that only days ago, our reactionary Supreme Court ruled against gun control. The legislation recently passed by Congress would not have prevented this bloodbath. It will not stop until the ownership and possession of assault weapons are banned, and all are recalled and criminalized.

The Daily Mail in the UK has the best coverage.

On a personal note: as this awful event happened, I was driving my 2004 red convertible decked in American flags in the Southold Town July 4 parade. It was the first time that the VFW had allowed a contingent from North Fork Women for Women to participate. The large crowd lining Main Street was warm and welcoming.

After Highland Park, it seems that no crowd is safe unless they pass through metal detectors. Since the killer fired from a rooftop, there was no safety.

Dana Milbank wrote a wise analysis of the Trunp Supreme Court’s decisions on abortion and guns, which both threw away precedent and judicial restraint. The Supreme Court is supposed to be a guarantor of stability, law and order. Yet this Court removed restraints on guns even as the nation was reeling from gun violence. And in the Roe decision, it removed a constitutional right—granted 49 years ago— for the first time in history.

Milbank writes:

Nobody should be surprised that the Supreme Court’s conservative justices on Friday jettisoned nearly 50 years of precedent upon precedent in overturning Roe v. Wade. Heck, they didn’t even honor their own precedent articulated 24 hours earlier.

In their opinion Thursday morning forcing New York and other densely populated states to allow more handguns in public, the conservative majority, led by Justice Clarence Thomas, argued that medieval law imposing arms restrictions — specifically, the 1328 Statute of Northampton — “has little bearing on the Second Amendment” because it was “enacted … more than 450 years before the ratification of the Constitution.”

Yet in their ruling Friday morning in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, setting women’s rights back half a century (and cracking the door to banning same-sex marriage and contraception), the conservative justices, led by Samuel Alito (who was also in the guns majority) and joined by Thomas, argued precisely the opposite. They justified abortion bans by citing, among others, “Henry de Bracton’s 13th-century treatise.” That was written circa 1250 and referred to monsters, duels, burning at the stake — and to women as property, “inferior” to men.

The right-wing majority’s selective application of history reveals the larger fraud in this pair of landmark rulings: Their reasoning is not legal but political, not principled but partisan.

Still, there is a commonality to the rulings. Both decisions foment maximum chaos and were delivered with flagrant disregard for the instability and disorder they will cause.

The high court was meant to be the guarantor of law and order. But the conservative justices, intoxicated by their supermajority, have abandoned their solemn duty to promote stability in the law and are actively spreading real-world disruption.

Worse, this invitation to disorder comes as the nation is trying to restore the rule of law after a coup attempt led by a president who appointed three of the five justices in the abortion majority. The spouse of a fourth — Ginni Thomas, Clarence’s wife — aggressively pushed state legislators and the White House to overthrow the election. Yet Thomas, the senior associate justice, has refused to recuse himself from related cases.

After decades of crocodile tears over imagined “judicial activism,” the conservative supermajority has shed all judicial modesty and embraced radicalism. The liberal justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen G. Breyer, wrote in their Dobbs dissent that the majority’s brazen rejection of stare decisis, respect for precedent, “breaches a core rule-of-law principle, designed to promote constancy in the law.”

Even Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who joined the gun ruling, scolded fellow conservatives for blithely overturning the Roe v. Wade super-precedent. “Surely we should adhere closely to principles of judicial restraint here, where the broader path the court chooses entails repudiating a constitutional right we have not only previously recognized, but also expressly reaffirmed,” Roberts wrote. The majority’s “dramatic and consequential ruling is unnecessary,” he said, “a serious jolt to the legal system” that could have been avoided with a narrower decision that would have been “markedly less unsettling.”

Alito, in his (characteristically) sneering opinion in the abortion case, dismissed Roberts as unprincipled and public opinion as an “extraneous” concern. He likewise dismissed the pain the ruling would cause, writing that “this Court is ill-equipped to assess ‘generalized assertions about the national psyche.’ ” He washed his hands of answering the “empirical question” of “the effect of the abortion right … on the lives of women.”

The dissent said the majority’s refusal to address real-world consequences “reveals how little it knows or cares about women’s lives or about the suffering its decision will cause.” It is a “radical claim to power,” the dissent went on, to assert “the authority to overrule established legal principles without even acknowledging the costs of its decisions.”

The liberals described the bedlam to come, with suddenly unanswered legal questions about rape, incest, threats to a mother’s life, interstate travel for abortion, morning-after pills, IUDs, in vitro fertilization. “The majority’s refusal even to consider the life-altering consequences of reversing Roe and Casey is a stunning indictment,” they wrote.

Thomas’s gun ruling was much the same, 63 pages of a cherry-picked history of gun laws, with no concern for the real-life effect of allowing millions of people to carry handguns, with virtually no restriction, in the streets of New York or Los Angeles. Breyer, writing for the same liberal justices in dissent, upbraided the conservative majority for unleashing more guns “without considering the state’s compelling interest in preventing gun violence and protecting the safety of its citizens, and without considering the potentially deadly consequences of its decision.”
Alito added a concurring opinion to express contempt for Breyer’s points about gun violence, saying “it is hard to see what legitimate purpose can possibly be served” by his mentions of mass shootings and growing firearm mayhem.
The radicals have cast off any pretense of judicial restraint. Now the chaos begins.

Laugh or cry? I report. You decide.

The Republican lawmaker who drafted the training curriculum that schools would have to follow to allow teachers in Ohio to carry guns owns a gun training business that seemingly fits all the required steps in the bill.

Ohio schools could start arming any staff member as soon as mid-fall, but the training requirement has raised concerns about the involvement of a specific senator.

Although he denies any wrongdoing, state Sen. Frank Hoagland, a Republican from Mingo Junction, is being accused by critics of drafting the bill so his business could benefit financially.

Hoagland helped with the rewrite of House Bill 99, which allows any school board in Ohio to choose to arm school staff members with up to 24 hours of training.

The senator owns a business called S.T.A.R.T., which represents Special Tactics and Rescue Training. It is a firearm training and threat management business.

While the bill was being heard in the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee, hundreds came to oppose the bill. Throughout the entire hearing process, more than 350 people submitted testimony against the bill, while about 19 testified in favor.

One of those who testified in support was Dinero Ciardelli, the CEO of S.T.A.R.T. He did not identify himself as being with the company, but he did not legally have to. Hoagland just so happens to be the Chair of the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee, so he watched his colleague testify in favor of his bill.

The story: probably not a conflict of interest. On Mars.

Bill Press, a former correspondent at CNN, argues that there is no way to fix the Second Amendnent. Despite the obvious political roadblocks, he believes that the only remedy for the damage caused by the Second Amendment is to repeal it. it was written, he says, to protect Southern slaveholders, who wanted to protect their right to use deadly force to suppress slave rebellions. Two Supreme Court Justices, both appointed by Republican presidents, have urged its repeal. It is now a license for civilians to own deadly military weapons. Is it politically possible now? No. If the massacres continue, public opinion may change.

He writes:

After Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Virginia Tech, Margery Stoneman Douglas, El Paso, Buffalo, Uvalde and so many others, it’s always the same.

First, shock. Then, grief. Then, a demand for action. Then, the phony claim: Too bad, but we can’t do anything about guns because of the Second Amendment. And then, nothing is done to prevent the next attack.

This time, could things be different? After the senseless assassination of 19 elementary school students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, senators of both parties are actually talking about a compromise on guns.

But don’t hold your breath. No matter what they come up with, chances are still slim that there will be 10 Republicans willing to override the filibuster. (A total of 60 votes are needed to end a filibuster in the evenly-divided US Senate.)

Anything they agree on will probably just nibble around the edges of the gun issue. Sen. John Cornyn, the lead Republican negotiator, has already vetoed one of the most sensible proposals: raising the legal age for buying an assault weapon from 18 to 21 years…

Let’s face it. The way many judges and conservatives interpret the Second Amendment is a total con job. And, as wildly misinterpreted today, it is, for all intents and purposes, a license to kill as many people as you want with as many guns as you want.

The only effective way to deal with the Second Amendment is to repeal it — and then replace it with something that makes sense in a civilized society.

I’m hardly the first person to say that the Second Amendment has been a disaster for this country. In fact, two Supreme Court justices — justices appointed by Republican presidents — have said as much.

In a March 2018 opinion piece for the New York Times, former Justice John Paul Stevens, who was appointed by then-President Gerald Ford, wrote that Americans protesting the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School “should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment…”

And decades earlier, in 1991, former Chief Justice Warren Burger, appointed by President Richard Nixon, told the PBS Newshour: “If I were writing the Bill of Rights now, there wouldn’t be any such thing as the Second Amendment.

Burger called the Second Amendment “one of the greatest pieces of fraud — I repeat the word ‘fraud’ — on the American people by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Indeed, you only have to read the Second Amendment to see what a fraud it’s become. Here it is, all 27 words: “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.”

Read it again. There’s no way you can logically leap from those 27 words about the existence of a state militia to the unfettered right of any citizen to buy as many guns — and any kind of gun — that they want, without the government being able to do anything about it.

It’s clear from the wording of the Second Amendment itself that it has nothing to do with individual gun ownership; nothing to do with self-defense; and nothing to do with assault weapons. The amendment speaks, not to the rights of well-armed individual citizens, but only to citizens as members of a group, a “well regulated militia.”

And its history is well-known. The founders saw no need to mention guns in the original Constitution. As many constitutional scholars and American historians have shown, the Second Amendment was added later by James Madison as part of a deal to secure the support of Patrick Henry and other White racist Virginians for confirmation of the Constitution. Noted academic Carol Anderson, for one, describes the “anti-Blackness” that lies at the heart of the Second Amendment in her book “The Second,” as well as its “architecture of repression.”

As such, it was not about self-defense. It was, in the opinion of these historians, about reassuring White plantation owners that the new federal government would not interfere with their practice of forming White militias to patrol the South, ready to put down rebellion by disgruntled Black slaves or chase down slaves who tried to flee.

And again, the amendment has nothing to do with self-defense or allowing ownership of any kind of gun. As Stevens noted in his New York Times op-ed: “For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation.”

Two things changed that. First, a band of gun extremists took over the NRA at its 1977 annual convention in Cincinnati and changed its mission from championing the Second Amendment as the right of hunters to giving every American the right to own a gun for self-defense. The NRA proceeded, successfully, to sell that unfounded idea of self-defense to politicians and the general public.

Second, in 2008, former Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, which — again for the first time in over 200 years — established the right of every American under the Second Amendment to own a gun for self-defense. And he rounded up four other votes.

However, it’s important to note that even in Heller, Scalia took pains to argue that as with other rights, those granted under the Second Amendment are not unlimited — and that governments retain the power to regulate what kind of guns, or how many, people may own.

Of course, those provisions of Heller are conveniently ignored by gun worshippers like Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who uphold the Second Amendment as reinterpreted by Scalia. That flawed reasoning allowed a Texas teenager to buy two AR-15’s on his 18th birthday, walk into an elementary school and mow down 19 students and two teachers.

We are a sick nation indeed, if we allow that idiocy to stand.

The Trace, a publication devoted to stopping gun violence, assessed the Supreme Court decision striking down restrictions on gun ownership in New York. The law that was overturned has been in place for over 100 years. One thing this ruling proves: this Court doesn’t care about public safety. Despite numerous gun deaths and massacres, despite Buffalo and Uvalde, the Court relaxes restrictions on carrying guns in public. This is a Court that does not care about precedent, social stability, human life, or public safety. It will use any rationalization available to justify its extremist opinions. It is “originalist” when that suits its purposes. But not really originalist because if it were, Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas would resign at once. Neither qualify to serve on the Court or even to vote by the terms of the original Constitution.

The Trace reported:

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court struck down New York’s restrictive firearms licensing law, a decision that could transform gun ownership in New York City and affect at least five other states with similar regulations. In a 6-3 ruling, the court’s conservative majority endorsed, for the first time, a constitutional right to carry a gun in self-defense outside the home.

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen is the Supreme Court’s first major Second Amendment ruling since 2010, when the Court struck down Chicago’s handgun ban. Writing for the majority, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas said Americans have a two-part right to “keep” guns in their homes and “bear” them in public.

“This definition of ‘bear’ naturally encompasses public carry,” Thomas wrote. “Most gun owners do not wear a holstered pistol at their hip in their bedroom or while sitting at the dinner table.”

The scope of the decision had been anticipated following the leak in May of a draft opinion voiding federal abortion protections. Legal experts told us at the time that the apparent sidestepping of precedent in that draft document, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, could signal a similarly wide ruling in Bruen. The court did not go as far as calling into question all licensing schemes, including the 43 states that have “shall-issue” permitting laws, but it did leave the door open for potential challenges.

“Because these licensing regimes do not require applicants to show an atypical need for armed self-defense, they do not necessarily prevent ‘law-abiding, responsible citizens’ from exercising their Second Amendment right to public carry,” Thomas wrote.

“It’s going to have huge impacts because the court changed the entire standard for evaluating Second Amendment claims,” said Jake Charles, the executive director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law. “It’s much broader than I was expecting it to be.”

The decision also rewrites the methodology federal courts use when deciding Second Amendment cases. Since 2008’s District of Columbia v. Heller, which established that the Second Amendment includes the right to bear arms in the home, lower courts judging contested firearms legislation have considered whether a particular law furthers the government’s interests in things like reducing crime in addition to historical precedent.

Please open the link and read the rest.