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Profile Information

Name: Sean
Gender: Male
Hometown: Asheville NC
Home country: USA
Current location: Arlington VA
Member since: Sat Jun 27, 2015, 02:01 PM
Number of posts: 2,493

Journal Archives

Pink Pistols: LGBT Gun Owners Unite in Arming Gay Community

This, of course, is a large part of the Pink Pistol's mission: to get LGBT people more comfortable with firearms and encourage them to fight hate crimes with bullets – or at least the threat of them. A small, loosely organized group of a few dozen chapters scattered across the states and Canada, including Toronto, San Francisco and Charleston, South Carolina, the Pink Pistols' membership has climbed from around 1,500 earlier this month to about 6,500 since the June day Omar Mateen attacked the Pulse nightclub, turning the dance floor into a killing field and crashing together two culture war battlegrounds that rarely converge: gays and guns. While the majority of LGBT people seem to be calling for more regulation, Pink Pistols and their allies are hunkering down and taking up arms, banding together under the group's motto, a confrontational warning to potential gay-bashers: "Pick on someone your own caliber."

The Pink Pistols formed around 2000, after gay journalist Jonathan Rauch – still outraged by Matthew Shepard's 1998 murder, and knowing gay men who stopped attacks with guns – published an article on Salon. "[Gays] should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry," he wrote, noting that they should do it in a way to garner as much publicity as possible. And, as an added bonus to self-protection, Pink Pistols could erode tenacious stereotypes, challenging the image of cringing weakness, especially for those who internalized it. "Pink pistols," he wrote, "would do far more for the self-esteem of the next generation of gay men and women than any number of hate-crime laws or anti-discrimination statutes."

This is from a rather lengthy article at Rolling Stone - http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/pink-pistols-lgbt-gun-owners-unite-in-arming-gay-community-20160628#ixzz4Czvgtm3h

For those questioning why parents aren't prosecuted when a child kills herself

Or someone else with an unsecured firearm, here's a parent who will be going to prison. Note that based on the story this woman should not have had a firearm to begin with:

A 5-year-old New Jersey boy fatally shot his 4-year-old brother in the head while playing with his mother’s gun.
Police arrested the children’s mother — identified as 22-year-old Itiyanah Spruill — and charged her with endangering the welfare of a child and a weapons violation related to the death, according to NJ.com.

Spruill is being held in jail on a $310,000 bail while she awaits arraignment.


Another instance of a firearm protecting someone, this time from a stalker ex-boyfriend

On three instances, the woman said she came home to find signs of a forced entry. Twice, she had her locks changed. Meanwhile, Gunter [the ex] accrued three outstanding warrants for violating the order of protection.

Despite the new locks, the woman still did not feel safe. She called ADT Security to install a home security system. As the technician finished up the installation of the system on Tuesday, around 3 p.m., the woman went into her bedroom to grab her cellphone.

But the phone had vanished from where she’d left it. If there was a mystery to where it had gone, the reason was immediately — and alarmingly — apparent. A pair of feet poked out from underneath her bed. They were Gunter’s. That was when the woman thought she might die: It was his life or hers, as she would later tell WKRN News reporter Jessica Jaglois.

The woman drew a gun, shot Gunter in his left foot and told the ADT installer to dial the police. WZTV reported that she demanded the now-wounded Gunter give her back her phone, which he tossed to the woman from beneath the bed. She kept him there, weapon trained, until the authorities arrived. Police say he admitted to breaking into the house and stole the phone to prevent her from calling for help.

Link - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/06/24/fearing-ex-boyfriend-woman-installs-security-system-only-to-find-him-under-her-bed/?hpid=hp_rhp-moretopstories2_no-name%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

This is a slate article from last week titled "Bullet Points"

That discusses the fact that the media are a bunch of idiots when it comes to gun control. Thought it made some interesting points.

But you already know how this will play out. Gun-control advocates and their allies in the media will attack the gun-rights crowd as cold-hearted, stubborn, and out of touch. They will complain that no new legislation will result from the tragedy, and they will be right.

There are many reasons that this cycle repeats as it does. We live in a divided society where people cocoon with like-minded allies, and we’ve stopped listening to the other side. The NRA is powerful. We get distracted and move on to the next shiny thing. But one important point: The mainstream media lobbies hard for gun control, but it is very, very bad at gun journalism. It might be impossible ever to bridge the divide between the gun-control and gun-rights movements. But it’s impossible to start a dialogue when you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

Linky - http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/06/the_media_keeps_misfiring_when_it_writes_about_guns.html

"Forget new gun control: Citing Orlando, House may roll back existing D.C. gun laws"

The mayor of the District of Columbia argued last week that assault rifles are “only meant to devastate humans,” and that following the massacre in Orlando, Congress must “finally do something” about guns.

However, it’s safe to say that this is not what Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, a Democrat, had in mind:

As the Senate voted down several gun-control measures Monday evening, House Republicans introduced measures that would effectively wipe out existing gun-control laws in the District, which are among the country’s most restrictive.

So this raises a lot of issues other than just gun control, like the fact that DC's citizens don't get to decide their own laws. Another nugget in bold that I wasn't aware of from the article:

The measures, known as “riders,” are a frequent tool that conservative federal lawmakers use to dictate spending on social and criminal justice programs in the District, where most voters are Democrats. In recent years, the House has voted to keep the area from using its local revenue to fully implement a successful ballot measure to legalize marijuana. The House also perennially uses a rider to block the District from using its tax dollars to subsidize abortions for low-income residents.

The rest is here - https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/forget-new-gun-control-citing-orlando-house-may-roll-back-existing-dc-gun-laws/2016/06/21/c25f8286-3792-11e6-8f7c-d4c723a2becb_story.html

"America's gun problem is so much bigger than mass shootings"

The US could end all mass shootings today and its rates of gun violence would still be many times higher than other rich countries.

There is a stark racial disparity in gun violence.

Much of America’s day-to-day gun violence is concentrated in America’s poorest, most racially segregated neighborhoods – places with high rates of unemployment, struggling school systems, and high levels of mistrust between police officers and community members.

African Americans, who represent 13% of the total population, make up more than half of overall gun murder victims. Roughly 15 of the 30 Americans murdered with guns each day are black men.

This is the second part of a series of Guardian stories regarding gun violence in America. Yesterday's story discussed mass shootings and noted that for the Obama administration and a group of Sandy Hook parents the AWB wasn't a priority because it wouldn't make much difference. Today's story makes the point (among many) that the vast majority of firearm murders in the US disproportionately impact African American males. Link - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/21/gun-control-debate-mass-shootings-gun-violence

Can the US break its cycle of gun control failure?

That’s the work Hockley has been doing for more than three years. The first weeks after her son’s death, still shocked and grieving, Hockley and some of the other parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook began a “crash course” in the history of American gun laws and gun politics.

They learned that while assault weapons played a prominent part in many mass shootings, they play only a tiny role in America’s overall gun violence problem. The loophole-ridden 1994 federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, produced no clear evidence of reducing gun violence. An in-depth evaluation of the law concluded that the impact of even a more comprehensive ban would be “small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement”.

That was not a surprise to anyone who had been paying attention. In the early 1990s, even some gun control advocates criticized the push for an assault weapon ban as a “distraction” with little crime-fighting benefit. But the ban generated intense, visceral reactions from the public. A former Democratic staffer who helped craft the assault weapon ban said he had hoped passing it would give Democrats the political momentum they needed to pass the drier, more technical gun laws that might actually save more lives.

Instead, the push for a political victory backfired. President Bill Clinton later blamed the assault weapon ban for the 1994 midterm victories that allowed Republicans to take over both houses of Congress. Many prominent gun control groups have since moved away from an assault ban – “through hard, bitter experience”, said Matt Bennett, a gun policy expert who advised Sandy Hook Promise.

Democrats know the research behind the ban. While a ban on high-capacity magazines could help some, the assault weapons ban “does nothing”, a former senior Obama administration official said last year.

This is the first in a series of stories from the Guardian discussing gun violence/control. This story focuses primarily on the assault weapons ban. The rest can be found here - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/20/gun-control-orlando-attack-newtown-mass-shooting

"Why the Supreme Court Won't Impact Gun Rights"

This article probably gets it right on Second Amendment jurisprudence - Heller didn't really change that much and the Supreme Court isn't going to overturn Heller, especially since it permits many types of gun control. Although the author doesn't state as much, another take away is that the controllers' dream of some sort of handgun ban is simple fantasy that is never going to occur.

In any event, Heller is unlikely to be overturned. There are several high-profile cases that are likely to be reversed by a liberal Supreme Court, such as Citizens United and Shelby County. Heller, however, is not one of them. While there is no doubt that several of the justices believe Heller was wrongly decided, they have little reason to overturn the decision and every reason to maintain it.

Heller was a narrow decision that did not fundamentally reshape America’s regime of gun laws. The Court held that individuals have a right to have handguns in their homes. But only two cities, Washington and Chicago, and no states, had laws prohibiting handgun possession. (Chicago allowed residents to have long guns for self-defense.) In the eight years since Heller, there have been several hundred lawsuits challenging nearly every type of gun law on the books. Only a few laws, however, have been invalidated.

Even the justices who dissented in Heller now understand that the decision has not proved to be a roadblock to effective gun laws. All the laws at the top of the gun-control agenda—universal background checks, assault-weapons bans, and restrictions on high-capacity magazines—have all survived judicial scrutiny since Heller. Why would justices favorable to gun control vote to overturn a case that doesn’t actually stop lawmakers from regulating guns?

Plus, there is one really strong reason not to overturn Heller: It would spark a backlash that would make the political movement to reverse Roe seem like a schoolyard kerfuffle. The NRA would push for a constitutional amendment to enshrine gun rights and would likely include language, like it has in a series of recent amendments to state constitutions, making it much harder to restrict guns. Although most proposals to amend the Constitution are quixotic, gun politics are such that 38 states might well pass a new, stronger Second Amendment in a heartbeat.

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