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Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:49 PM
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How the NRA and Its Allies Helped Spread a Radical Gun Law Nationwide

THE FLORIDA LAW MADE INFAMOUS this spring by the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin was conceived during the epic hurricane season of 2004. That November, 77-year-old James Workman moved his family into an RV outside Pensacola after Hurricane Ivan peeled back the roof of their house. One night a stranger tried to force his way into the trailer, and Workman killed him with two shots from a .38 revolver. The stranger turned out to be a disoriented temporary worker for the Federal Emergency Management Agency who was checking for looters and distressed homeowners. Workman was never arrested, but three months went by before authorities cleared him of wrongdoing.

That was three months too long for Dennis Baxley, a veteran Republican representative in Florida's state Legislature. Four hurricanes had hit the state that year, and there was fear about widespread looting (though little took place). In Baxley's view, Floridians who defended themselves or their property with lethal force shouldn't have had to worry about legal repercussions. Baxley, a National Rifle Association (NRA) member and owner of a prosperous funeral business, teamed up with then-GOP state Sen. Durell Peaden to propose what would become known as Stand Your Ground, the self-defense doctrine essentially permitting anyone feeling threatened in a confrontation to shoot their way out.

Or at least that's the popular version of how the law was born. In fact, its genesis traces back to powerful NRA lobbyists and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing policy group. And the law's rapid spread—it now exists in various forms in 25 states—reflects the success of a coordinated strategy, cultivated in Florida, to roll back gun control laws everywhere. . . .

As Florida became known to some as the "Gunshine State," it began exporting its laws, with ALEC's help, to other statehouses. This effort was no doubt aided by the fact that the vice president of Hammer's Unified Sportsmen of Florida is John Patronis, cousin to Republican state Rep. Jimmy Patronis—sponsor of the aforementioned bill that kept names of concealed-weapons license holders secret and ALEC's current Florida chairman. The organization would also be instrumental to spreading Stand Your Ground nationwide. "We definitely brought that bill forward to ALEC," said Baxley, a member of the group. "It's a place where you can share ideas. I don't see anything nefarious about sharing good ideas." The NRA has served as "corporate co-chair" of ALEC's Public Safety and Elections task force, which pushed Stand Your Ground and other gun laws. Since 2005, the year Florida's law was passed, gun manufacturers like Beretta, Remington, and Glock have poured as much as $39 million into the NRA's lobbying coffers.

Baxley defends the NRA's involvement: "They have lots of members who want this statute. They're people who live in my district. They're concerned about turning back this lawless chaos and anarchy in our society." Records show that the NRA's Political Victory Fund has long supported Baxley—from a $500 contribution in 2000 (the state's maximum allowable donation) to $35,000 spent on radio ads in support of his state Senate bid in 2007. Peaden received at least $2,500 from the NRA and allied groups over the years. The NRA also maxed out on direct contributions to Jeb Bush's gubernatorial campaigns in 1998 and 2002, and it gave $125,000 to the Florida GOP between 2004 and 2010—more than it gave to any other state party. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, the NRA spent $729,863 to influence Florida politics in the 2010 election cycle alone.

Rest of a much longer article at Mother Jones: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/nra-alec-stand-your-ground

Trayvon Martin, Medger Evers, and Emmett Till

"will forever be remain in the annals of history . . as symbols in the fight for equal justice for all." "For Trayvon to rest in peace, we must all be peaceful." --Benjamin Crump

Please put down your guns for a day and reflect on the life and death of Trayvon Martin.

The one I systematically went through with you and Green Storm Cloud

and you refused to read the report presented to you in black and white and continued to claim it said it proved 90% of the guns from outside the US, when the GAO report says the complete opposite. You proved to have absolute disregard for the truth in that discussion, as you did in the one about the bans on federal funding into research about guns. I'm truly sorry that your agenda outweighs respect for the truth. You refuse to take in any new information and steadfastly cling to the NRA propaganda even when it is proved false.

I can't even begin to imagine what two cities you're talking about. The discussion is in my journal, and it will be surrounded by your desperate denials of facts put right in front of you. The entries for our discussion on the ban of federal funding into research on guns are among the most recent entries visible in my journal so anyone can see them and see your denial of evidence put directly in front of you.

I edited that last post to include more data, should you be interested. I know, however, that you steadfastly deny anything that doesn't confirm the pro-gun propaganda you're steeped it. I see no need to go through a discussion we've had before. It's entirely your failing that you can't acknowledge when you are wrong. It's sad, but it does show your cause is so profoundly corrupt that you need to rely on fabrication and distortion to maintain it.

Here are some of the links of the GAO reports in case anyone who does have an interest in truth and facts happens to pass by.

On Mexico's homicide rate:

On pro-gun blatant fabrication that the GAO report shows 90% of guns trafficked into US come from somewhere other than the US



International homicide data show the US's rate is 4x that of the UK's.


Shows the DECLINE in violent crime in the UK


George Zimmerman Explodes the NRA Fantasy of the Armed Citizen

An interesting column on what the Zimmerman cases says about NRA propaganda about the armed citizen defending himself from criminals. It's worth reading the whole thing.

It can be hard to tell how much of it is driven by cynicism and how much is honest paranoia, but there's no denying the commitment with which the NRA promotes the fantasy that an armed America is a safer America.
After all, the newsletter of the NRA's lobbying arm is called Armed Citizen. It promises that "While the anti-gun media doesn't want to report the truth about Americans using guns for self-defense as often as 2.5 million times a year, you can read breaking stories of everyday citizens fending off violent criminals." . . .

As Zimmerman's killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin so horribly demonstrates, far from making people safer, all too often a gun makes a bad situation much, much worse. Accept for the moment Zimmerman's own account of the night of February 26, 2012: after he had followed Martin, Martin attacked and got the better of him, and, in fear for his life, he shot Martin in self-defense.

Zimmerman says that Martin reached for Zimmerman's gun. Since no one is claiming Martin set out that evening for anything other than Skittles and an iced tea -- certainly not to kill someone he'd never met before -- even if we believe Zimmerman's story, that story tells us that the presence of a gun helped turn a fist fight into a killing. Without the gun, the encounter might never have happened, since Zimmerman would have been a pistol's-worth less confident about getting out of his car and following Martin.

. . .

Now let's take a step back and consider the crime Zimmerman thought was involved here. If Zimmerman's suspicion about Martin had been right, instead of wildly wrong, Martin would have been guilty of burglary.

Burglary is not punishable by death.
And yet Armed Citizen regularly celebrates the killing of burglars and other non-violent offenders."

The article goes on to show that gun ownership has declined and with in violent crime. If the NRA propaganda were true, one would expect crime to rise with declining gun ownership. Moreover the areas with the highest density of guns have the highest incidence of violent crime.


TEDMED; Obesity a symptom rather than the cause of disease

Peter Attia

You obviously did not read the APA article

that says that funding has been banned. You, congress, and the NRA are not qualified to determine what legitimate science and public health is. That falls to experts in the field. That is why federal funders assemble expert review panels to rank applications in order to determine which merit funding.

Tax money does not fund propaganda. That you find the information inconvenient does not make it propaganda. Information is being suppressed. You have seen and evidence that shows exactly that and have chosen to ignore it. You saw that the NIJ has only two calls posted. DOJ as a whole lists only ten awards for 2013, none of which deal with gun violence. http://grants.ojp.usdoj.gov:85/selector/result
They haven't even bothered to update their website so that the most recent information is dated for 2011. Other federal funders are currently taking applications for the 2014 funding cycle. DOJ is not a funder of research of any scale, and it clearly is not currently funding any research on guns, as that search of recent awards shows. You saw that research into guns has declined by 95% since the ban. You have systematically ignored evidence and have instead chosen to deceive yourself for political purposes. That tells me your commitment to rights does not extend beyond guns.

A for profit medical journal? Are you fucking serious? No academic journal makes a profit. Subscriptions allow them to stay afloat. However, NIH and NSF now require that publications be available in open access formats. NIH has done so for a couple of years and NSF is just now implementing the requirement.

You are talking about an area I happen to have expertise, and you clearly do not have your facts straight. If you care at all about the truth, you need to stop relying entirely on pro-gun sites for information because you have many facts wrong. I recall a recent discussion on arms trafficking to Mexico were your facts were totally wrong. It's one thing to support gun rights and another to eschew the truth in order to justify those rights.

So which is it?

First you claimed there was no ban on federal funding for gun research. Now you claim you support that ban. You are supporting a corporate lobby's efforts to suppress information because you share their goals of suppressing knowledge. That is a shameful, anti-democratic and illiberal position.

There is federal funding on ethics, by the way: NEH funds philosophy and NIH funds medical ethics. If I did a funding search I'm sure I could find more sources.


Which is why your argument that the gun lobby imposed those special provisions to prevent lobby for gun control doesn't hold water. That has always been prohibited. The point was and is to suppress information on gun violence. The ban has resulted in a huge decrease in research on guns, just as the Bush administration's embryonic stem cell ban brought about a near halt to US research in that area. Yet the stem cell ban was not nearly as comprehensive. Suppressing knowledge helps no US citizen. It only protects the corporate gun lobby.

Funny, because federal law specifically prohibits NIH from funding research

that might be used to promote gun control. The result of the ban has been a 95% drop in research.



All federal funding on gun research is banned. NIH and NSF fund research into public health. science, and social sciences. Research is done at leading research universities around the nation. Without federal funding, it doesn't happen.

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