Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Goofy Gun Conspiracy

Make A Donation

The GVP Report - June 26, 2012

Goofy Gun Conspiracy

Rachel Maddow ShowRachel Maddow describes the paranoid gun rights fantasy that is the basis behind the Republican political interest in the "Fast and Furious" gun tracking operation.

► For background information on Fast and Furious see David Graham, The Atlantic, Eric Holder, Contempt of Congress and Fast and Furious: What You Need to Know and the Los Angeles Times ATF's Fast and Furious Scandal.

► For information on the gun conspiracy theory put forth by the NRA and others see Think Progress, The Wild Conspiracy Theory Driving the Fast and Furious Investigation; The Christian Science Monitor, What 'Conspiracy' Lies Behind Eric Holder and 'Fast and Furious'?; Think Progress, Five Things to Know About the Republican Witchhunt Against Attorney General Holder; and TalkingPointsMemo, Five Signs You May Be a Fast & Furious Conspiracy Theorist.

► Andrew Cohen, The Atlantic, notes that The Real Scandal of Fast and Furious is the partisan finger-pointing and the Republican-dominated Congress that has done nothing to stop gun trafficking on the Mexican border but is suddenly concerned enough to hold contempt hearings while the real problem will go unsolved. 

In The News

Center for American ProgressA new study from the Center for American Progress shows The Economic Benefits of Reducing Violent Crime.  It looks at the costs communities pay for violent crime through lower property values, higher insurance premiums, more money spent on police, courts, and jails, and calculates the savings for 8 cities if violent crime was reduced 25 percent. 

► The online gun dealer who sold guns linked to three mass shootings has closed amid a flurry of complaints from customers who allege he failed to deliver orders after billing for them.

A federal judge has thrown out part of Chicago's gun law, finding the section that prohibits a firearm permit to someone convicted of unlawful use of a weapon "unconstitutionally void for vagueness" and a "violation of the right to keep and bear arms."

► Chicago funeral director, Spencer Leak, comments on the funerals he conducts for young adult and teenage victims of violence. "These kids don't expect to live a full life," he said. "You get about a thousand other kids who come to these funerals.  They see how it's celebrated and they think this is how I'll be celebrated when I get shot."

► Palm Beach Post, Police Officers Can Deal with PTSD-like Symptoms After Shooting, notes that when an officer is involved in a shooting the potential psychological backlash is predictable, troubling and can span months if not years.

► New York Times, Method to Track Firearm Use Is Stalled by Foes, looks at the gun lobby's fight to block microstamping technology from being enacted in New York and California. 

Community Support

Nasty Jack, Satire on Gun Violence...Is That Possible? notes that while innocent people are experiencing a bloodbath, the NRA continues to push for looser gun laws and see the accuracies in The Onion's satirical piece.

► SemDem, The Daily Kos, Florida NRA Gone Wild.  Thanks to a new Florida law it was perfectly legal when a man went duck hunting in a neighborhood retention pond, surrounded by houses and children playing. 

► A new book by James Atwood, America and Its Guns: A Theological Exposé, argues that our national myth that God has appointed America as "the trustee of civilization" gives license to people to carry guns and warns that an absolute trust in guns and violence morphs easily into idolatry.

Eli Blake, Deep Thoughts, The Debate On Guns Has Been Changing, writes how ten years ago he often differed with Democrats on gun issues but not anymore.  It's not his position that has changed, but the debate, with the gun lobby now aggressively pushing guns into places where they have never been allowed in the past.  

Art on Issues, A Glimpse Into Non-Self Defense Concealed Carry Killings at Eating and Drinking Establishments, notes that it is simply not true to say there have been 'no problems' with concealed carry at restaurants and bars and the use of the term 'law abiding citizen' to defend carrying concealed weapons should not be applied to the entirety of the ccw population.

Colbert ReportStephen Colbert looks at Joe the Plumber's campaign ad that claims gun control caused the Holocaust

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Media Matters, Fox News, Firearms Sales, and the Gun Lobby Feedback Loop, chronicles the loop between conservative media outlets and the gun lobby and how they benefit each other. 

► AmmoLand warns that A Push for Microstamping is Really a Push for National Gun Registration, new powers of gun taxation and the all-out gun bans associated with the scheme.

►Think Progress, NRA Offers 'Stand Your Ground' Insurance to Cover Legal Costs of Shooting People in Self-Defense that includes criminal and civil defense costs, cost of civil suit defense, and criminal defense reimbursement.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kill At Will

The GVP Report - June 12, 2012

Kill at Will

Tampa Bay Times investigative report finds Florida 'Kill at Will (aka Stand Your Ground)' Law Yields Some Shocking Outcomes Depending on How Law is Applied Among the findings - those who invoke law to avoid prosecution have gone free nearly 70 percent of the time.  Defendants more likely to prevail if the victim is black. 

Explore Florida Database► Explore the most complete list of Florida 'Kill at Will' cases ever created. 

Travyvon Martin's parents plead with Gov. Scott's task force to change 'Kill At Will' law.  Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin delivered 375,000 online petitions collected by Second Chance on Shoot First.  "Our son has been sacrificed," Tracy Martin said, "It's a bad law, set up basically for the shooter to take an innoncent life."

► A new study by Texas A & M Professors Cheng Cheng and Mark Hoekstra, Does Strengthening Self-Defense Law Deter Crime or Escalate Violence? Evidence from Castle Doctrine, finds "the results indicate that a primary consequence of strengthening self-defense law is increased homicide."

► The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will launch a special investigation into how race affects the enforcement of kill-at-will laws across the nation. 

Mother Jones, How the NRA and Its Allies Helped Spread a Radical Gun Law Nationwide. Florida enacted the self-defense law in 2005.  By 2012, with the help from the NRA and its allies, 24 more states had adopted similar laws.

ProPublica, Five 'Kill at Will' Cases You Should Know About, points to additional troubling cases in Texas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Arizona.

Video taken night of fatal shooting► When Raul Rodriguez, of Houston, TX went to tell his neighbors to turn down the music he took a flashlight, a video camera, and a gun. Watch the video taken the night of the fatal shooting.  Rodriguez is claiming self-defense but prosecutors say he had ample opportunity to leave the confrontation.

MLive special report on self-defense homicides in Michigan: Justified to Kill.  Report takes a closer look at what happens before and after the killing.

► An Indiana law amends the 2006 Castle Doctrine bill that allows deadly force to stop illegal entry into a home or car to specifically allow force against police.  "Someone is going to get away with killing a cop because of this law."

In The News

Talking Points Memo, After Giffords Shooting, Violence Rhetoric Trickles Back Into Campaigns, gives examples of guns and violent rhetoric being used in current campaign videos and emails.

► At least eight people were killed and 46 injured in shootings in Chicago last weekend.  Murders were up sixty percent over the previous year during the first quarter of 2012 but are actually down eight percent this quarter and gun recovery is up twenty percent. 

California Deputy's Guns Found in Criminal Hands. Prosecutors have charged a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy with acting as a straw buyer to purchase restricted handguns which he then sold to unqualified buyers through a licensed dealer who also faces federal charges.

► The lone survivor of the shooting at a cafe in Seattle, WA that left four people dead says the gunman, Ian Stawicki, was intent on not leaving any survivors.  Stawicki's father told reporters that his son had a concealed weapons permit and was becoming noticeably volatile over time.

► Springfield, MA Police Officer Kevin Ambrose was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call. The shooter was a NYC correction officer who wounded his former girlfriend before taking his own life. 

Community Support

Mark Foresth, Baltimore Post Examiner, Gun Safety for Gang Bangers, reminds gang members that a true gunman knows his target and aims accordingly and avoids sloppy, even amateur shooting that wounds or kills innocent bystanders.

Art on Issues, Guns vs Cars? Would You Send Your Child There.  The data are clear that US children and adolescents are at many times the risk of losing their lives to gunfire than those in peer countries.  To defend that loss of life in the name of a constitutional right is both obscene and morally-corrupt. 

Spocko, My FireDogLake,Dear Tim: I'm worried my gun carrying son will hurt others, how do I get his concealed weapon permit revoked? examines the issue of revoking ccw permits in the wake of the Seattle shooting. 

Richard M. Aborn, Washington Post, Why Indifference to Gun Violence is a National Crime. The issue is not just that the NRA has created power but also that supporters of gun control have waned.  Many things can be done to take that control back, but three things are critical. 

Inside Out Project The Inside Out Project, a global art initiative, has partnered with the NYC Mission Society and the gun violence prevention group Operation SNUG for a photography exhibit in Harlem to show the faces of gun violence victims. 

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Media Matters, NRA Partners With Conspiracy-Minded Gun Activist at Chicago CPAC,  gives some background information on the speakers on the NRA moderated panel "The Liberal's Shadow War on Second Amendment."

► AmmoLand, The George Soros Anti-Gun Agenda, wants you to know that "Michael Bloomberg wants to ban guns in your town" and that Mayors Against Illegal Guns "just want to make your guns illegal. Period."

► Media Matters, NRA Researcher Makes Dubious Comparison to Downplay U.S. Firearm Related Death Rate, looks at the gun lobby's attack on a recent Violence Policy Center report that shows gun deaths now outpace motor vehicle deaths in ten states. 

► The Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville, Texas has announced it is now hosting birthday parties for kids.  "The age limit is eight years old," said the owner. "You have to be tall enough to get above the shooting table."