A massacre, within walking distance

130916-navy-yard-emergency-hmed-11a.photoblog600I bicycled to work this morning, as usual, and heard a lot of sirens on the way. As I headed along the Waterfront, I watched police cars speed by.

This is Washington. I thought it was some kind of motorcade.

Then I got to work and saw on the Web that there was an “active shooting incident” at the Navy Yard. That’s a military installation about three blocks from Nationals Park. I live four blocks from Nationals Park in the other direction.

And at the end of the day, I see that a heavily armed psychopath went on a rampage and killed 12 people before the police killed him. Seven blocks from where I live.

Crazy people with guns are getting too close to where I live. I expect to see the usual pontificating about gun legislation and the back and forth with the NRA about the right to bear arms vs. the right to live without being shot.

But why bother?

A psychopath with a small arsenal walked into an elementary school and killed 20 first graders less than 10 months ago. Congress didn’t do a thing. Why should we expect anything more when a psychopath with a small arsenal walks into a military installation and kills 12 adults?

And while all this is happening, states are passing this kind of legislation:

Iowa is granting permits to acquire or carry guns in public to people who are legally or completely blind.

No one questions the legality of the permits. State law does not allow sheriffs to deny an Iowan the right to carry a weapon based on physical ability.

The quandary centers squarely on public safety. Advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it’s a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to have weapons.

Let me make this simple.

No. It’s a stupid idea to let blind people carry guns. Just like it’s going to be stupid to let another mass murder go by without taking any kind of action.

But we seem to relish in our right to be stupid. Don’t we?

The NRA and ALEC murdered Trayvon Martin

This video explains why George Zimmerman walked.

The phone call at the end with the Second Amendment nut in Texas is all you need to hear to know why more people are going to get killed. It happened in November 2007.

NRA gun porn

The NRA has put out a list of the 10 “Coolest Gun Movies.” How many have you seen?

1. Red Dawn
2. The Terminator
3. The Alamo
4. Die Hard
5. The Godfather
6. Zombieland
7. The Matrix
8. The Delta Force
9. The Road Warrior
10. Tremors

I’ve seen eight of these. And I’m shocked the list doesn’t include director Paul Verhoeven‘s “RoboCop.” That’s the only movie where I can state for a fact that no viewer would say “Shoot him again” when it ends.

This scene pretty much sums it up (and please do not watch it if gun violence makes you sick, because it is extremely brutal):

For those of you who did watch it … Am I right?! Isn’t this the kind of stuff that the NRA gets off on? And this isn’t even the most violent scene in the movie. The shooting of Officer Alex J. Murphy was way more brutal than that. And even that wasn’t the most violent scene in the movie.

“RoboCop” is the NRA’s wet dream. It’s about good guys with guns taking down bad guys with guns. So why didn’t it make the NRA’s list?

I’m sure it’s just a glitch.

 

The NRA owns the Republican Party

The National Rifle Association had its convention in Houston last week. I originally didn’t bother to find out anything about it because I already know what the message is. Nothing in the U.S. Constitution matters other than my right to have any kind of killing machine with a firing pin that I want.

But, I thought I’d take a look at the speakers lineup:

Glenn Beck
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska)
Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Arkansas)
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton (R)
Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas)
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania)
Gov. Bobby Jindl (R-Louisiana)
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin)
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin)

So, the NRA meeting was really the Republican National Convention. And let’s stop pretending that the NRA is a bipartisan group. It’s the militia arm of the GOP.

And while we’re at it, this is not amusing (from Jonathan Capehart at the Washington Post):

I read with interest about Adam Kokesh’s outrageous plan for July 4.

The 31-year-old former Marine and radio talk show host wants to lead armed demonstrators on a march across Memorial Bridge from Arlington National Cemetery around the Capitol, Supreme Court and the White House. Kokesh is calling on the thousands he hopes will join him (as of this writing, the count stands at 2,673) to march “with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny.” …

While Kokesh insists that violence isn’t the protest’s aim, the threat of it lurks on his blog.

“This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.”

We already know these domestic terrorists have a death fetish. They see nothing wrong with shooting up theaters and churches and schools, because the right of a psychopath to have a gun outweighs my right not to be shot by a psychopath with a gun.

I just plan to be somewhere else when this circus comes to town.

 

The arsenal of an NRA member

Adam Lanza murdered six adults and 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December. Yesterday, police released details of the arsenal Lanza had access to:

At the school:

  • 1 Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15 rifle with a 30-round magazine
  • 1 Glock 10mm handgun
  • 1 9mm Sig Sauer P226 handgun
  • 1 Saiga 12 shotgun with two magazines containing 70 rounds
  • 6 30-round magazines, three of them emptied

At the home:

Guns:

  • 1 Enfield bolt-action .323 rifle
  • 1 Savage Mark II .22 caliber rifle with magazine, 3 live rounds, 1 spent cartridge
  • 1 black marksman BB gun

Ammunition:

  • 5 Winchester 12-gauge shotgun shells cut open, with buckshot
  • 1 white plastic bag with 30 Winchester 12-gauge shotgun shells
  • 1 can with .22 caliber and .45 caliber bullets
  • 8 boxes of Winchester Windcat .22 caliber bullets, 50 rounds per box
  • 20 “Estate” 12-gauge shotgun shells
  • 4 boxes of SB buckshot 12-gauge, 10 round per box
  • 1 box of Lightfield 12-gauge slugs
  • 1 box of 20 Prvi Partizan 303 British rifle cartridges
  • 1 box of 20 Federal 303 British rifle cartridges
  • 2 boxes of .22 long rifle Blazer rounds, 50 each box
  • 1 box with numerous rounds of Winchester .45 caliber bullets
  • 2 boxes of 50 rounds of PPU .45 caliber automatic
  • 1 box of 20 rounds for Remington .223 caliber
  • 3 boxes of Blazer 40 S&W, 50 rounds each
  • 2 boxes of Winchester 5.56 mm, 20 rounds each
  • 1 box of Magtech 45ACP with 30 rounds
  • 1 empty Box of SSA 5.56 mm
  • 1 box of Fiocchi .45 auto with 48 rounds
  • 80 rounds of CCI .22 long rifle
  • 6 boxes of PMC .223 rem, 20 rounds each
  • 6 Winchester 9 pellet buckshot shells, 12-gauge
  • 2 Remington 12-gauge slugs
  • 3 Winchester .223 rifle rounds
  • 31 .22 caliber rounds
  • 2 boxes of Underwood 10 mm auto, each with 50 rounds
  • 130 rounds of Lawman 9mm Luger
  • 2 spent shell casings for Glock 10mm
  • 1 empty box of Gold Dot 9mm Luger
  • 2 empty boxes of Winchester 9mm Luger
  • 1 box of Underwood 10mm auto with 34 rounds
  • 1 box of 29 miscellaneous 9mm rounds
  • 1 spent .22 shell casing
  • 1 small plastic bag containing numerous .22 caliber bullets
  • 1 tan bag with numerous Blazer .45 caliber bullets
  • 1 box of Blazer .22 long rifle with 50 rounds
  • 1 box PPU 303 British cartridges with 9 rounds
  • 2 Winchester 9mm rounds
  • 2 brass-colored shell casings
  • 1 small caliber bullet (live round) labeled C

Magazines:

  • 1 Promag 20-round 12-gauge drum magazine
  • 1 MD Arms 20-round 12 gauge drum magazine
  • 3 AGP Arms 12-gauge shotgun magazines
  • 1 Surefire GunMag magazine with 8 rounds of Winchester 12-gauge, 9-pellet buckshot
  • 2 AGP Arms 12-gauge shotgun magazines, taped together, each with 10 rounds of Winchester 9-pellet buckshot
  • 2 empty Ram Line magazines for Ruger 10-22
  • 1 AGP Arms Gen 2 12-gauge shotgun magazine with 10 rounds of Winchester 12-gauge, 9-pellet buckshot
  • 1 clear plastic Ramline magazine for an AR 15
  • 1 magazine with 10 rounds of .223 bullets

Knives:

  • Metal bayonet
  • 1 6-foot-10-inch wood-handled two-sided pole with a blade on one side and a spear on the other
  • 1 Samurai sword with a 28-inch blade and sheath
  • 1 Samurai sword with a 21-inch blade and a sheath
  • 1 Samurai sword with a 13-inch blade and sheath
  • 1 knife with a 12-inch blade and sheath
  • 1 wooden-handle knife with a 7.5-inch blade and sheath
  • 1 wooden-handle knife with a 10-inch blade
  • 1 knife with a 5.5-inch blade and sheath
  • 1 black-handled knife with a 7-inch blade and sheath
  • 1 black rubber-handled knife with 9.5-inch blade and sheath
  • 1 white and brown-handled knife with 5-inch blade and sheath
  • 1 brown wood-handled knife with a 10.25-inch blade
  • 1 Panther brown-handled folding knife with a 3.75 inch blade
  • 1 small blue folding knife

Gear:

  • 1 Volcanic .22 starter pistol wth 5 live rounds and 1 expended round
  • Leightning L3 ear protection
  • Peltor ear plugs
  • Simmons binoculars
  • Uncle Mike’s Sidekick nylon holster
  • Box for vest accessories
  • Leather dual magazine holder
  • Black leather handgun holster
  • High Sierra fanny pack
  • Numerous paper targets
  • 1 cardboard targets
  • 1 Bushnell sport view rifle scope
  • Plastic bag of miscellaneous parts
  • Safariland holster paperwork
  • Glock handgun manual
  • MD-20 20-round shotgun magazine manual
  • MD Arms V-Plug guide
  • Bushmaster XM15 and C15 instruction manual
  • Savage Arms bolt-action rifle manual
  • Glock paperwork

Miscellaneous:

  • Adam Lanza’s National Rifle Association certificate
  • Nancy Lanza’s NRA certificate
  • Three photographs with images of what appears to be a deceased human covered with plastic and what appears to be blood
  • Holiday card with a check from Nancy Lanza to Adam Lanza for purchase of C183 firearm
  • 1 digital print of a child and various firearms
  • 1 military-style uniform
  • Handwritten notes with addresses of local gun shops
  • Receipts and emails documenting firearm and ammunition supplies
  • Blue folder labeled “guns” with receipts and paperwork
  • Paperwork titled “Connecticut Gun Exchange Glock 20SF 10mm” dated 12-21-11
  • Sandy Hook report card for Adam Lanza
  • New York Times article on a 2008 shooting at Northern Illinois Unversity
  • Books: “Look me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s;” “Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Mind of an Autistic Savant;” “NRA Guide to Basics of Pistol Shooting;” “Train our Brain to Get Happy”
  • 1 Seagate Barracuda 500gb hard drive, damaged
  • 1 custom-built desktop computer, no hard drive
  • 1 Microsoft Xbox with partially obliterated serial number
  • One cotton swab of blood-like substance
  • 1 tan sheet with blood-like substance
  • 1 tan fitted sheet with blood-like substance
  • 1 striped towel with blood-like substance

So far, the biggest reaction I’ve seen has been from the National Rifle Association, which said:

“There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association,” it said in a statement. “Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory.”

Except there is a member relationship between the Lanzas and the NRA. Adam Lanza and his mother, Nancy, were members of the NRA. They had NRA material in their house. They had NRA certificates with their names on them in the house. The NRA is saying, “Who are you going to believe? The Connecticut law enforcement community and the FBI? Or us?” Putting it another way: “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?”

It’s been almost four months since Adam Lanza killed the 20 children and six educators at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn. He killed his mother at the beginning of the rampage, and he killed himself at the end. Congress has had almost four months to deal with assault weapons and the kind of arsenal Lanza and his mother accumulated.

The New York Daily News has best described the congressional effort:

ny_dnSo, nothing is going to happen. And now we wait for the next cry of outrage when the next psychopath with an assault rifle goes on a rampage. As we now know from Adam Lanza, it’s possible the next killer will be a card-carrying member of the NRA.

The latest in gun insanity

Until politicians do something about guns, I’m going to keep posting things like this:

Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law has been cited in hundreds of cases. People have used it to justify shooting, stabbing, killing and maiming would-be intruders, romantic competitors and rival gang members.

And on Sunday, at a pizza joint in St. Petersburg, a man tried to use it as justification for shooting another customer who was yelling at workers because he wasn’t getting his order fast enough.

So, in Florida, people think that if you get into an altercation with someone complaining about bad service at a pizza joint, the way to resolve it is to shoot him?

“There are arguments every day, but how many people pull out a gun? When you pull a gun out and shoot somebody, your life better be in danger,” [Randall] White said. “He was in my face and I pushed him. His life was not being threatened.”

White said he got mad because his thin-crust vegetable pie was taking longer than the 10 minutes he was promised.

“Twenty minutes later, I’m like, ‘Where’s my pizza?’ ” White said.

White, who admitted he was tired and agitated, started talking about the service. That’s when he said [Michael] Jock “started chewing me out.”

White said the gun came out quickly. A shot rang out. The two men wrestled for the gun before the second shot was fired.

White said he still has a bullet fragment in his back.

“I got lucky,” he said. “To me, that stand your ground rule … people are twisting it. He’s twisting it. I walked in to get a pizza and I got shot … I’m hoping the law prevails. We’ll see.”

First of all, the “stand your ground” law is absurd and a government sanctioned ticket for murder. George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin in Florida and is using “stand your ground” as his defense.

Second, if you go by past NRA statements, the guy who got shot should have had a gun. That way he could have defended himself. So instead of one person being shot, there would have been a gunfight in a pizza joint.

Finally, is a Little Caesars pizza really worth dying over?

Is now the time to talk about gun control?

The flag over the White House was at half staff last night. The flags around the Washington Monument were at half staff last night.

Because a psychopath walked into an elementary school in Connecticut and killed 26 people, 20 of them children. The gunman killed his mother at their home before the rampage. And when he was done, he killed himself. Some reports indicate the guns were registered in his mother’s name because he was too young to buy them himself.

The national response is horror. Like it was this year, when the gunman entered a mall theater in Aurora, Colo., during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” set off gas canisters and opened fire, killing 12. Like it was last year, when Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, and at least 17 others were shot Saturday morning when a gunman opened fire outside a supermarket where Ms. Giffords was meeting with constituents. Like it was in 2009, when 13 soldiers and civilians were killed and more than two dozen wounded when a gunman walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas, and opened fire. Like it was in 2007, when an outburst of gunfire at a Virginia Tech dormitory, followed two hours later by a ruthless string of attacks at a classroom building, killed 32 students, faculty and staff and left about 30 others injured yesterday in the deadliest shooting rampage in the nation’s history.

The sentences above contain the words various media organizations used to describe the horror.

In the past 50 years, 11 of the 20 worst mass shootings in the world have happened in the U.S., and of those 11 massacres, five have happened since 2007.

We can react like Republican Mike Huckabee on Fox News and say something stupid like:

We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?

Or we can react like Republican New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actually address the issue:

With all the carnage from gun violence in our country, it’s still almost impossible to believe that a mass shooting in a kindergarten class could happen. It has come to that. Not even kindergarteners learning their A,B,Cs are safe. We heard after Columbine that it was too soon to talk about gun laws. We heard it after Virginia Tech. After Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek. And now we are hearing it again. For every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns. Today, many of them were five-year olds. President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown. But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response. My deepest sympathies are with the families of all those affected, and my determination to stop this madness is stronger than ever.

There’s a petition at the White House Web site that says this:

Immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress.

The goal of this petition is to force the Obama Administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns. While a national dialogue is critical, laws are the only means in which we can reduce the number of people murdered in gun related deaths.

Powerful lobbying groups allow the ownership of guns to reach beyond the Constitution’s intended purpose of the right to bear arms. Therefore, Congress must act on what is stated law, and face the reality that access to firearms reaches beyond what the Second Amendment intends to achieve.

The signatures on this petition represent a collective demand for a bipartisan discussion resulting in a set of laws that regulates how a citizen obtains a gun.

When I last looked, there were more than 75,000 signatures on it.

We as citizens can’t make laws limiting the availability of guns. Congress and state legislatures are busy passing laws that make it easier to get a gun. Those elected officials have to change those laws or be voted out of office.

But our legislators have shown they don’t have the backbone to stand up to the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment fetishists. And now, despite the demands over the years to address gun violence, have 20 dead elementary school children.

Will we finally end the discussion below this time and actually do something?

tmw2011-01-12acolorlowres-copy-2