To every kid who spent today making sure we adults don't simply get to move on with our lives, you are my heroes.


Don’t be too quick to applaud Brian Mast

Florida’s 18th district Republican Rep, Brian Mast, is getting accolades from the left for his February 23rd opinion piece, “I’m Republican. I Appreciate Assault Weapons. And I Support a Ban,” in the New York Times.

Don’t be fooled, and don’t nod your head in agreement or admiration as if he’s right and totally reasonable.

He’s not.
Also, he’s not brave, nor is he courageous for what he’s proposing. His proposition still falls far short of a real solution, and his only real achievement is that he’s simply one of the rare Republicans willing to have a rational conversation.
That’s where the bar is now on guns with Republicans; willing to have a rational conversation.
What’s wrong with Mr. Mast’s proposal?
Without confiscation, there is no real solution to the problem of mass shootings with assault rifles, large capacity magazines, and accessories that amplify the weapon’s ability to kill.
semiautomatic weapons store
It’s not enough to put the guy pictured with the article and everyone like him out of business. The “products” he sold legally and which are to become illegal under Mr. Mast’s proposals must also be illegal to possess.
If it’s going to be illegal to sell them, then it must be illegal to possess them, too.
That’s where I think the bar needs to be set.
Someone let me know when a politician emerges with the courage to take that stance.

Now can we talk about gun ownership?

It’s simple. Every gun starts its history as a legal device.

If it’s used in a crime, then the perpetrator – AND the last legal owner if the two are not the same person – need to be held accountable.

That’s what it means to be a responsible gun owner.

It’s technologically possible to track every gun, every magazine, and even every bullet. Every gun that has ever been used in a crime or in an accidental shooting has a history. There’s no reason we can’t know that history with precision from the moment it leaves the factory to the moment it becomes evidence.

It’s why I advocate for the registration of every single gun, every single magazine, and every single bullet.

It’s why I also advocate for testing and licensing just to own a gun. Any gun.

Will it stop every crime and every accident? No. Don’t be silly. Crimes will still occur. We’ll just know who the last legal owner was. That could help law enforcement to determine whether or not that individual played a role in how that gun came to be used in a crime. When it comes to accidents, surely the owner must be held accountable on some level especially when minors are involved. If your kid finds your legal gun and accidentally hurts or kills someone with it, whose fault is it? Shouldn’t you be held accountable? Aren’t there repercussions even when things happen accidentally?

Will the government know who owns what guns? You bet they will, and I’m perfectly fine with that. How can I say such a thing? Because I’m a realist. First of all, you and I are no match for the government. They can come and kill us anytime they like. Your Glock, his AR-15, and my shotguns don’t mean jack-shit no matter how many we have. Despite how badly out-gunned we are, our government doesn’t come and kill us I think mostly because there’s no money in it. So, I think it’s time we started thinking and acting like a more mature society. This ain’t the Old West, and we aren’t John Wayne. More importantly, we need to stop acting like and talking like we should be planning a takeover of our government by force. In case some of us have forgotten, we are our government. We are our military. Those institutions are comprised exclusively by our children, our friends, our family, and our neighbors. They have no reason to come and take your (or my) guns away unless we’re acting criminally. We need to de-militarize our culture and our society, not arm it even more. We need to stop buying into the bullshit the NRA is feeding to us straight from the gun makers and their lobbyists.

This is why I see tracking, registration, and licensing as simply the most logical way to hold gun owners accountable and responsible. Once again, every gun starts it history as a legal device. If it’s lost or stolen, it’s the responsibility of the owner to report it. If it’s sold to another individual, it’s the responsibility of both parties to “sign over the Title” once the new owner shows the license which makes them qualified to own it.

Why is any of this so unappealing to some people? If you say it’s because it’s your Constitutional right to own guns, I suggest you re-read the Second Amendment. This approach doesn’t infringe on your right in any way. It only codifies the conditions by which you may “keep and bear arms.” Nowhere am I saying to ban guns or gun ownership. I just want gun owners to be held accountable.

That’s how I define ‘responsible’ gun ownership.

(More of my posts on guns may be found here, here, and here)

#Fox Tells Only One Side on CA #Microstamping Law

This article, Gun flight: Smith & Wesson, Ruger quit California over stamping requirement, by Perry Chiaramonte is a classic example of the complete bias and total lack of journalistic integrity that is the hallmark and the brand of Fox News.

FILE: Undated: A model 1911 pistol is held in the hands of an assembler at the Smith & Wesson factory in Springfield, Mass. Source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/01/24/smith-wesson-to-stop-selling-some-pistols-in-california-due-to-gun-law/
FILE: Undated: A model 1911 pistol is held in the hands of an assembler at the Smith & Wesson factory in Springfield, Mass. Source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/01/24/smith-wesson-to-stop-selling-some-pistols-in-california-due-to-gun-law/

How can anyone consider this article to be journalism?

It seems like a reasonable question to ask if one reads the article with an eye toward word selection, tone, and the people are and who are not quoted in this article.

Here’s the opening sentence…

A new gun law proponents say helps law enforcement has driven Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger out of California, and affirmed the suspicions of firearms rights advocates that the measure is really about making handguns obsolete.

Let’s examine just that opening sentence more closely.

Proponents of a gun law (which we learn later passed in California in 2007 and that is only now being implemented) only “say” the new law helps law enforcement. Too bad Mr. Chiaramonte doesn’t tell us who any of them are, what they actually said, and what law enforcement officials said in response.

Meanwhile, gun makers are being “driven…out” of the California market because of this new law. What they are actually doing is making a conscious business decision. Personally, I think they’re bluffing. And if they’re not and they do stop selling handguns in California the downside is…….what exactly?

Still in the opening sentence and while all of that is going on, the “suspicions” of the “firearm rights advocates” are now “affirmed” that the law is meant to make handguns “obsolete.”

Firearms rights advocates? Sounds noble. Who are they? I wonder if Mr. Chiaramonte is referring to the gun manufacturers and their proxies whom he did choose to quote later in his piece?

“Affirmed suspicions” has a ring of certainty and dread, doesn’t it? Compare that to the unidentified proponents who are only “saying” that the law might help law enforcement – a position attacked and discredited by the only people Mr. Chiaramonte chose to quote; the aforementioned “firearms rights advocates.”

And, “affirmed suspicions” ties in neatly to the strawman that every gun-related bit of legislation is an immediate threat to the Second Amendment. As we all know, the Founders intended for every citizen to carry a handgun, and we cannot stand for any legislation which these “firearms rights advocates” tells us will make handguns “obsolete.”

All of that is in just the first sentence.  It’s hard not to see now how word choice and tone matter, isn’t it?

There’s more.

So outside of the gun makers themselves who don’t want to have to conform to this law and who claim (threaten?!?) to be “forced” out of California, with whom does Mr. Chiaramonte choose to quote? To whom will he turn to for a fair and balanced perspective on this law?

He turns to an attorney for the NRA, Chuck Michel, and an adjunct professor who is also an associate analyst with the Cato Institute, David Kopel.

Well, they certainly represent one side of this issue. Where are the other sides? There are none represented.

Mr. Chiaramonte also employs those dubious and suspicious, “Critics say….” and “Many believe…” statements that have become so common these days. Why doesn’t he tell us their names, what they actually said, and when and where they said it?

Most damning and conspicuous, though, is Mr. Chiaramonte’s complete lack of information about who the supporters are and what they have to say. There are no legislators, gun law proponents, or law enforcement officials named or quoted in the article.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Perry Chiaramonte spent a lot of his career at the New York Post before joining Fox. This may not come as a surprise to anyone who understands the similarities these two organizations share when it comes to their definitions and treatment of the news. For those who need a quick understanding of the caliber of journalism practiced by the New York Post, I suggest you click here to see some of their more infamous headlines and covers.

I’m willing to bet that Mr. Chiaramonte knows that his article is not news. I’m willing to bet that in his heart of hearts he knows it to be a quintessential example of yellow journalism. He must, for it matches perfectly and precisely with how the Free Dictionary defines that term: “Journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers.”

In his defense, Mr. Chiaramonte must also know and agree that that is what Fox does. It is all that Fox News does. It exploits. It distorts. It exaggerates in order to create sensations and attract readers and viewers. It is how it makes its money.

Mr. Chiaramonte, however, cannot be exonerated for presenting one side and only one side – the opposition – in his article. He is being anything but fair and balanced in this report, and I cannot believe that he isn’t doing that intentionally.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Fox News seems to be getting progressively more lazy and more lackadaisical than was even imaginable. Even worse, it seems perfectly clear that they believe their audience won’t notice.

That said, it’s actually more likely that Fox is simply pandering to an audience who consciously selects them and embraces them precisely for their incredibly biased and yellow journalism; the same type of journalism so obviously on display in Mr. Chiaramonte’s article.

As for this California law itself, I learned very little about it from this article. I shall have to go to other more reliable sources. I do like the sounds of it. It seems like a step in a very positive direction.

For more on my thoughts about gun laws, I invite you to read Taking Responsibility for Your Guns and Why Not Registration and Licensing of Guns?

Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law was born of 2004 case, but story has been distorted

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

PENSACOLAIn 2005, as lawmakers pushed to pass sweeping self-defense legislation that would become known as the “stand your ground” law, critics had one challenge: Show us a case in which someone had been treated unjustly.

Greg Russak‘s insight:

Lawmakers continue to misconstrue the case.

See on www.tampabay.com