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Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:49 PM
Number of posts: 42,232

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So clearly "most folks"

are not law abiding gun owners. So let's put to bed that fiction once and for all. You're all quite anxious to violate any law you choose. So according to you most gun owners are felons. I'll be bookmarking this for future reference the next time anyone tries to pass off the fiction of the "law abiding" gun owner.

The Unholy Trinity: Koch Brothers, ALEC, and the NRA

The father of the Koch brothers was a member of the John Birch Society. Now the Kochs work with ALEC and the NRA to get Stand Your Ground laws passed around the country. The racist nature of the these laws has prompted the Congressional Black Caucus to introduce a resolution to repeal all 42 Stand Your Ground/ Shoot to Kill Laws around the country. Video at the link.

"ALEC, also known as the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a not-for-profit entity whose goal is to rewrite laws and produce ‘model bills’ that govern our rights. It boasts a $7 million a year budget, and calls itself the nation’s largest group of state legislators but, in fact, the majority of its funding comes from corporations and special interest groups. So, it should be no surprise that its laws mostly benefit corporate America. Among the myriad corporations funding ALEC are Koch Industries and the National Rifle Association. ALEC has been instrumental in promoting the so-called ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws that are shielding Trayvon Martin’s alleged killer. There are now 24 states with sweeping ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws, just like the one in Florida.

The Koch Brothers are billionaires who spend millions of dollars funding groups, like ALEC and the Tea Party’s Americans for Prosperity, to rewrite our laws in their own right-wing ideological image. Twice a year, the Koch Brothers invite conservative politicians and millionaires to a summit to discuss legislative agenda. Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are two of the past attendees. Ergo, we should not be surprised about the Citizens United ruling. The brothers are not shy about spending millions to influence legislation and, perhaps, buy an election while they’re at it.

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin murder, the Koch Brothers sought to distance themselves from the ensuing controversy by releasing a statement saying that they had nothing to do with it. This is an utter lie. Michael Morgan of Koch Industries has sat on ALEC’s Private Enterprise Board for 10 years, is the Kansas State Corporate Co-Chair, and was the ‘Vice Chairman’ level sponsor of the 2011 ALEC Annual Conference.

Not surprisingly, the driving force behind the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws is the NRA. Why? Simple economics. The NRA championed the original Florida law in 2004, and has continued to push for these laws across the nation. In August 2005, NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer asked legislators and lobbyists at a closed-door meeting of ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force to adopt the Florida ‘Castle Doctrine’ bill as an ALEC model bill. According to the NRA, her suggestion “was well received” and was approved “unanimously.”

So, there you have it. The dots have been connected. It’s getting easier and easier to buy legislation without the direct input of the American people who, especially in this particular case, live and die by these laws."

Video at link


Oh, oh

awesome graphic

I'm copying it here, if you don't mind, so I can access it form my journal.

Again the issue is context

Compared to what? Compared to Castro, Allende or Goulart--yes. Allende and Goulart, however, both were ousted by the military and killed. More than twenty years of right-wing authoritarian dictatorship following Goulart in Brazil. Lula was head of the steel workers union and helped to bring down the dictatorship. He twice unsuccessfully ran for president as a socialist against the right-wing and scandalously corrupt neoliberal Fernando Collor and the more moderate neo-liberal Fernado Henrique Cardoso (an intellectual who wrote about dependency theory). When Lula was elected in 2002, he moderated his approach and came to power with the backing of some of Brazil's financial elite, who had come to recognize that the existing model of economic development that targeted a small percentage of the population was not working for Brazil, not even for the elite. Lula did not challenge neoliberalism but he softened it. His administration widened the percentage of the population that benefited from economic growth and increased Brazil's middle class. Brazil's economy grew and the poor became less poor, rather than more poor as had always been the case in periods of economic development. Now the economy has begun to retract and the Brazilian middle class expects more. That Bahians are protesting tells me a lot has changed and that people now expect a better life.

As historian EP Thompson demonstrates, protests rarely take place at the depths of poverty, during periods of extreme hunger. They tend to occur when people expect more, when economic change invokes a sense of moral outrage, what Thompson calls a "moral economy" of the crowd. I believe this is what we are seeing in Brazil.

Don't dare speak about violence against women

First it was the Juarez serial killing, now the WHO report. Some men who never take an interest in the high mortality rates resulting from gun violence feel the need to express outrage that the WHO had the audacity to release a report on violence against women, violence that is overwhelmingly carried out in the secrecy of homes. The WHO demonstrates that 85% of the 35.6% of women in the world subject to domestic violence and rape are abused at the hands of their partners. Abusers naturally want us to remain quiet. If women dare to speak in public about domestic violence and rape, it pierces the veil of silence that enables abusive men who rape, beat, mutilate, and kill their wives and partners. Those abusers find allies in all corners of the world, from India to Saudi Arabia to the United State of America, while those who challenge efforts to silence women are accused of being "crazy"--a typical effort to pathologize women's speech.

If we talk about sexist language and imagery, we are accused of being petty. If we talk about rape, beatings, and murder of women, we are told our speech is illegtimate because it doesn't focus on men. Misogyny is alive and well close to home and actively seeking to silence women so they can continue to rape and inflict abuse at will.


You have garbled the report. First most of the guns in Central America come from the US since we waged war on the region. True, the Russians supplied some weapons to the guerillas via Cuba, but not nearly as many as we did.

Now for the report. 87% of the weapons that could be traced came through the US. Even most of those manufactured outside of the US were shown to have been trafficked through the US.

There has clearly been a game of telephone going on among gun proponents regarding this report. You all have taken the arms not traceable and falsely concluded that they did not come from the US, when there is no evidence to suggest that. In fact the data from the traceable guns is a large sample and can be seen as representative of the overall composition of guns trafficked into Mexico.

I am excerpting part of the report here and will link to the original so you can read it yourself.

Using ATF’s eTrace data, which currently serves as the best data we found
available for analyzing the source and nature of firearms trafficked and
seized in Mexico, we determined over 20,000, or 87 percent, of firearms
seized by Mexican authorities and traced from fiscal year 2004 to fiscal
year 2008 originated in the United States.
Figure 3 shows the percentages
of firearms seized in Mexico and traced from fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year
2008 that originated in the United States. Over 90 percent of the firearms
seized in Mexico and traced over the last 3 years have come from the
United States.

Around 68 percent of these firearms were manufactured in the United
States, while around 19 percent were manufactured in third countries and
imported into the United States before being trafficked into Mexico.
could not determine whether the remaining 13 percent foreign sourced
arms had been trafficked into Mexico through the United States, due to
incomplete information.

As for the Mexican end, GAO reports:

While the eTrace data only represents data from gun trace requests
submitted from seizures in Mexico and not all the guns seized, it is
currently the only systematic data available, and the conclusions from its
use that the majority of firearms seized and traced originated in the United
States were consistent with conclusions reached by U.S. and Mexican
government and law enforcement officials involved personally in
combating arms trafficking to Mexico. In 2008, of the almost 30,000
firearms that the Mexican Attorney General’s office said were seized, only
around 7,200, or approximately a quarter, were submitted to ATF for
tracing. U.S. and Mexican government and law enforcement officials
indicated Mexican government officials had not submitted all of the
firearms tracing information due to bureaucratic obstacles between the
Mexican military and the Mexican Attorney General’s Office and lack of a
sufficient number of trained staff to use eTrace. For instance, at one point,
State officials told us, the Government of Mexico had only one staff person
collecting gun information and entering it into eTrace.12 Further, as ATF
pointed out, not all guns seized in the United States are submitted by U.S.
entities to ATF for tracing either, due to some of the same type of
bureaucratic and resource challenges faced in Mexico. Consistent with the
results of eTrace data, U.S. law enforcement officials who had worked on
arms trafficking in Mexico and along the U.S.-Mexican border told us their
experience and observations corroborated that most of the firearms in
Mexico had originated in the United States. Furthermore, U.S. and
Mexican government and law enforcement officials also stated this
scenario seemed most likely, given the ease of acquiring firearms in the
United States; specifically, they told us they saw no reason why the drug
cartels would go through the difficulty of acquiring a gun somewhere else
in the world and transporting it to Mexico when it is so easy for them to do
so from the United States.


The go on to list the specific types of weapons and how they have been altered to make them more lethal.

It shows maps of how the guns flow from various parts of the US into Mexico.


Combating arms trafficking has become an increasing concern to U.S. and
Mexican government and law enforcement officials, as violence in Mexico
has soared to historic levels, and U.S. officials have become concerned
about the potential for increased violence brought about by Mexican DTOs
on the U.S. side of the border. However, while this violence has raised
concern, there has not been a coordinated U.S. government effort to
combat the illicit arms trafficking to Mexico that U.S. and Mexican
government officials agree is fueling much of the drug-related violence.

Agencies such as ATF and ICE have made some efforts to combat illicit
arms trafficking, but these efforts are hampered by a number of factors,
including the constraints of the legal framework in which law enforcement
agencies operate, according to agency officials, and poor coordination
among agencies. In addition, agencies have not systematically and
consistently gathered and reported certain types of data on firearms
trafficking that would be useful to the administration and Congress to
better target resources to combat arms trafficking to Mexico. Gaps in this
data hamper the investigative capacity of law enforcement agencies.
Further, a Spanish language version of ATF’s eTrace has been in
development for months but has yet to be finalized; the lack of this new
version of eTrace has impeded the use of eTrace by Mexican law
enforcement officials, which limits data that could be used in
investigations on both sides of the border and results in incomplete
information on the nature of firearms trafficked and seized in Mexico.
Quick deployment of eTrace across Mexico and training of the relevant
officials in its use could increase the number of guns submitted to ATF for
tracing each year, improving the data on the types and sources of firearms
trafficked into Mexico and increasing the information that law
enforcement officials have to investigate and build cases.

U.S. and Mexican government officials in locations we visited told us that,
while they have undertaken some efforts to combat illicit arms trafficking,
they are concerned that without a targeted, comprehensive, and
coordinated U.S. government effort, their efforts could fall short. In June
2009, the administration released its 2009 National Southwest Border
Counternarcotics Strategy, containing a chapter on arms trafficking to
Mexico. We reviewed the strategy’s chapter on arms trafficking and found
that the chapter does contain some key elements of a strategy, such as
setting objectives, but it lacks others, such as providing detailed roles and
responsibilities for relevant agencies or performance measures for
monitoring progress toward objectives. ONDCP officials said they will
develop an implementation plan for the strategy in late summer of 2009
that will have more detailed actions for each agency to take, as well as
some performance measures for each item under the objectives. However,
at this point, it is not clear whether the implementation plan will include
performance indicators and other accountability mechanisms to overcome
shortcomings raised in our report. Furthermore, in March 2009, the
administration announced more resources for the Southwest border,
including more personnel and equipment for conducting southbound
inspections. However, it is unclear how the new resources that the
administration has recently devoted to the Southwest border will be tied
to the new strategy and implementation plan.

The current level of cooperation on law enforcement issues between the
United States and Mexico under President Calderon’s administration
presents a unique opportunity to work jointly to combat illicit arms
trafficking. Taking advantage of this opportunity will require a unified,
U.S. government approach that brings to bear all the necessary assets to
combat illicit arms trafficking.

Now, if the US government could absolve itself of responsibility for gun trafficking into Mexico, don't you think they would? The government is not in the habit of creating more diplomatic hassles without some driving national interest. There is no national interest in claiming more guns flow from Mexico into the US than actually do.
So time to readjust your argument. I would suggest you simply leave Mexico off the rhetorical menu. It does not help your case and only shows how badly the gun side distorts evidence.

GAO report



Available evidence indicates many of the firearms fueling Mexican drug
violence have come from the United States, including a growing number of
increasingly lethal weapons. Many of these firearms came from gun shops
and gun shows in Southwest border states, such as Texas, California, and
Arizona, according to ATF officials and trace data. U.S. and Mexican
government officials stated most guns trafficked into Mexico are
facilitated by and support operations of Mexican drug trafficking
organizations. . . .

Using ATF’s eTrace data, which currently serves as the best data we found
available for analyzing the source and nature of firearms trafficked and
seized in Mexico, we determined over 20,000, or 87 percent, of firearms
seized by Mexican authorities and traced from fiscal year 2004 to fiscal
year 2008 originated in the United States. Figure 3 shows the percentages
of firearms seized in Mexico and traced from fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year
2008 that originated in the United States. Over 90 percent of the firearms
seized in Mexico and traced over the last 3 years have come from the
United States . . .

Around 68 percent of these firearms were manufactured in the United
States, while around 19 percent were manufactured in third countries and
imported into the United States before being trafficked into Mexico. ATF
could not determine whether the remaining 13 percent foreign sourced
arms had been trafficked into Mexico through the United States, due to
incomplete information.

Note that last part. They show that guns manufacturered elsewhere were trafficked to Mexico through the US. Amazingly, the US imports guns.

Where you got the idea that the majority of the guns did not come through the US escapes me because the report does not say that.

Now you've contradicted yourself.

You can't even keep your arguments consistent. You just said you didn't trust news sources. Do you not keep track of who you're talking to?

Sorry, most of the guns used in Mexico are not even made in the US.

It is possible that the sampling is not entirely representative, but your claim that most guns don't come from the US is patently and obviously false. It's not only false, since you've read government reports to the contrary, but you know it is false. You again are deliberately falsifying information. First you say newspapers are not legitimate because they didn't tell you what you want to hear, now citing the ones that tell you what you want to hear.

Do you ever consider honesty at any point? You know you aren't convincing anyone. You're just lying to yourself. It is the most desperate and dishonest thing I ever ever seen anyone commit to print. I really do feel sorry for you. I hope this whole effort isn't entirely on your own volition. It is even sadder if you actually believe these convoluted rhetorical machinations.

You know, if one simply maintains positions that are not morally and intellectually corrupt, there is no need to continually contradict oneself and twist information to fit a political agenda.

You consider them irrelevant

because you don't like what they say. "Culture," as though a culture characterized by massive violence and drug cartels offers no distinction with your lovely home region of Wyoming. Culture, as you use it above, is a lazy catch all for a wide range of different political, economic, and social factors that vary from one place to another. There are ways to disaggregate that and study the issue accounting for variables, but that would depend on federal funding for research and reliable data to work from. Hence the importance of lifting the ban on research into and documentation abut guns.

I'm glad to have a bit of information about your state. I have no doubt you are fortunate to live in such a beautiful place.

Just because a government agency makes a claim doesn't make it true.

Fair point. But if you claim the original report is untrustworthy, so then is the secondary analysis of it. Generally, such critiques are based on a thoughtful discussion of research methods rather than simply not liking the results of the report. If you truly believe the report unreliable, you can no longer point to the website analyzing it. I will keep an eye on you to see how that goes.

sorry, you are projecting. You are the one distorting evidence for ideological purpose. More accurately, reading more into it than it is there.
You chose to insult my intelligence. I provided a fair assessment of the very source you claimed formed the basis for your views, a source you now proclaim to be untrustworthy because you don't like its conclusions. You have offered no thoughtful or informed critique.

Being inflammatory and rational may be mutually exclusive at the same moment, but not in the same person. As a human being with a range of thoughts and emotions, I like any other non-sociopath react differently at different times. A discussion board is not a publication. I have no obligation to fit your definition of rationality all the time. In fact, I hope I never do because what you consider rational strikes me as lacking in humanity. However, I am perfectly capable of analyzing evidence honestly and fairly, something you steadfastly refuse to do. I am aware of my biases, which is key to any honest research or intellectual endeavor. You refuse to acknowledge yours, which is far more insidious because it renders you incapable of honest analysis.

You want to believe guns somehow magically make homicide disappear and the absence of guns turns otherwise peaceful people into homicidal maniacs. Nothing will ever convince you otherwise because you don't want to believe anything else. You are desperate to justify gun proliferation to yourself. The rest of us are merely the audience in your efforts to try to convince yourself that the policies you hold most dear in life have nothing to do with resulting homicides.
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