To borrow what has to be a common thought across America as news of this shooting continues to filter out of Nevada: now can we begin discussing how to deal with these tragedies or would that offend the gun nuts out there?
As many as five people were dead Sunday afternoon after police said a pair of people shot two police officers at a Las Vegas pizzeria and then stormed a nearby Wal-Mart, where they killed another victim in the store, then themselves.
“This is a revolution,” the suspects said during the attack, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Kevin C. McMahill told reporters.
There were conflicting reports about the gender of the two suspects – whether it was a man and a woman or two men – but officials said the attack apparently began at Cici’s Pizza on North Nellis Boulevard.
Two people walked into the pizzeria and shot both police officers in the head before taking their guns and ammunition and heading for the Wal-Mart, McMahill said.
Alize Harper, 16, was selling newspapers outside the Wal-Mart when she saw a car drive up, and a man start yelling for everyone to get out and warning that the police were coming.
Monse Galindo, 19, a customer in the store, was near the registers when she saw a tall, thin, middle-aged white man in military-style clothing walk in with a small gun in his hand.
“He came in, shouting, ‘The revolution is about to start,’ something about a war, and that the cops were on their way,” Galindo told the Los Angeles Times, adding that the man then fired one shot in the air and another shot as he moved toward the left side of the store.
Galindo and Harper said the man appeared to be by himself, though police initially said there were two suspects in the store.
Karl Catarata, 16, was shopping with his mother and brother inside and also were near the registers when they heard the shouting, though the people shouting were just out of eyesight, he said.
“We thought they were shouting because there was a dispute, an argument,” Catarata said, but as he watched the body language of the Wal-Mart employees, who could see what was going on, he knew there was something seriously wrong.
After the first shot rang out, he grabbed his mother’s and brother’s hands and began to run toward the back of the store. He heard three shots in all before he made it to the exit.
Jesus Bustamante, 27, was at the Wal-Mart with his cousin, Emmanuel Florez, 26, to buy an Xbox when the shooting began.
“Should we run?” Florez asked his cousin as the shots rang out, Bustamante said. “Hell yes, we should run!” Bustamante replied, and the pair joined the other shoppers and Wal-Mart employees flooding out the back of the store.
The attacker or attackers shot and killed one person inside before going to the back of the store and carrying out a “suicide pact” as police arrived, McMahill told reporters.(Los Angeles Times)
You know, as I read more about what happened here, I can’t help but think of this scene from the movie And The Band Played On and wonder, “When will someone get up and call the NRA and all the other gun nuts SOBs’ out and ask, ‘when should we discuss gun violence?’ When?”
The more I read this, the more that I’m tempted to say, “Fuck you, Georgia!”
Georgia has officially gone mad. Mad, I tell you. In all my life I never thought a political party would be so crazy as to put their own constituents in so much jeopardy, but that’s what conservatives have done. Every single politician that voted for the “guns everywhere,” law will have blood on their hands for every person that falls victim to this new law if it is indeed signed by Gov. Nathan Deal.(Crooks & Liars)
Basically, this new law pretty much allows guns everywhere: bars, churches, schools, restaurants, airports, etc. It also allows felons – who, by rights, shouldn’t be possessing firearms to start – to claim self-defense (a/k/a “stand your ground”) and it also eliminates state crimes against gun possession inside airport security checkpoints (good luck, TSA!) The kicker…everyone and every group of record – outside of the gun fetishist crowd – opposed this bill…and it still passed the legislature. Put simply, this was the dumbest fucking decision I’ve seen in a long time and it is, in my opinion, high time that people of good will begin boycotting the state of Georgia.
Like I said….fuck you, Georgia!
You know, there’s a special place in hell for people like New York Post columnist Frederick Dicker…why? Oh, this:
New York Post columnist and radio host Frederic Dicker called the Newtown massacre a “little convenient massacre” on his show Monday to describe his contempt for New York State legislation to contain gun violence.
“That was [Governor Andrew Cuomo’s] anti-gun legislation, which he had promised not to do, but then he had a little convenient massacre that went on in Newtown, Connecticut, and all of a sudden there was an opportunity for him,” Dicker said.
Slammed by Newtown victims’ families and anti-gun violence groups, Dicker since said his sarcasm was aimed at New York’s 2013 SAFE Act gun legislation.
As an outspoken critic of the gun package, Dicker told the Albany Times Union his point “is a sarcastic reference to the governor latching on to an horrendous out of state mass killing to advance a political agenda that had nothing to do with the problem of gun-related crimes in New York.” According to his statement, “I used the word ‘massacre’ intentionally because it refers, by definition, to a horrendous large scale killing, which of course the Newtown horror was.”(Think Progress)
Naturally, family members of those who died at Newtown were not amused…
Newtown families and groups may not accept this answer. “Mr. Dicker should issue an immediate on-air apology to the Newtown families who lost children and loved ones on that life changing morning last December,” executive director for New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Leah Barrett said. Until then, the group is advising a boycott of Dicker’s outlets, including the NY Post and Talk1300AM.
The cousin of a teacher murdered in Sandy Hook said, “There’s nothing ‘convenient’ about 26 lives being gunned down in an elementary school.”(Think Progress)
You know, the more I think about Dicker’s remarks, the more it makes me start wishing there wasn’t such a thing as the 1st Amendment….then again, if that were the case, America would be a far sadder place that it is at present.
Back in 1988, Congress passed the 1988 Undetectable Firearms Act, which banned the manufacture, distribution and sale of any firearm that could not be detected by metal detection devices; at the time, this was done, in part, over fears of firearms such as the Glock 17, which possessed just enough metal parts to avoid detection. One fear that members of Congress did not have at the time, however, was a fear over 3-D printed firearms, since such weapons were still in the very, very hypothetical stages…
…fast forward to 2013: with just days before the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook School shooting, the Senate voted earlier today to extend the life of the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 by ten additional years, despite opposition from the NRA and other gun-rights groups. To be fair, the bill wasn’t as strong as it could’ve been; Senate Republicans did succeed in blocking attempts to strengthen the bill by requiring metal parts to be used in 3-D printed firearms, but in the balance this has to count as a victory for gun-safety advocates and that, in this politically charged environment, is a good thing.
…NRA for protecting yet another would-be mass murderer with ineffectual gun laws & regulations….quoting:
Federal agents were tracking Ohio resident Richard Schmidt’s imports of counterfeit sports jerseys when they stumbled upon his arsenal of 18 guns, more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition, and bulletproof body armor. Besides the arsenal, he had lists of Jewish and black leaders in Detroit, MI. He is also an ex-felon who killed a Hispanic man and wounded two others 24 years ago.
Yet before December, no one even noticed that Schmidt, 47, was amassing weapons illegally, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Instead, federal investigators zeroed in on his sports memorabilia shop around September 2011, tracking his shipments of knock-off jerseys from China for over a year before they discovered the cache of firearms.(Think Progress)
This is but another reason why we need sensible, reasonably-enforced gun regulations: even under current federal law, a person such as Mr. Schmidt should have never been able to amass the supposed arsenal that he was able to gather, yet thanks to groups such as the National Rifle Association, America’s gun laws are so riddled with loopholes and barriers that it’s amazing any gun-law enforcement is carried out at all. Indeed, as Think Progress points out,
Indeed, Schmidt might have been able to stockpile firearms so easily thanks to decades of hard work by the the gun lobby. Combating calls for stricter background checks on private gun sales, the National Rifle Association insisted the bill would create a national registry of gun owners which would be used to confiscate weapons and enact tyranny. This fearmongering has also hobbled federal law enforcement agents, who are forbidden from keeping any records of gun purchases. That means individuals like Schmidt can potentially avoid background checks when they purchase firearms, or they can obtain guns through a straw purchaser that law enforcement cannot track because any records revealing the purchaser’s activities would have been destroyed.(Think Progress)
Like I said earlier, “Gee, thanks NRA for making us feel so much safer in our homes and neighborhoods and cities…”
You read that correctly….quoting HuffPost:
The Senate voted in dramatic fashion Wednesday to approve one of President Barack Obama’s nominees. For Democrats to prevail, all it took was a last-ditch vote switch by one senator, a flight back from North Dakota by another and an afternoon roll call that stretched into the evening.
Five hours after the balloting started, the Senate voted to end Republican delaying tactics against B. Todd Jones, Obama’s pick to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It then voted in a comparatively instantaneous 29 minutes for his final confirmation, 53-42.
A defeat would have been a setback for Obama, who is trying to plug gaps in his second-term administration’s lineup, and dealt a blow to the recent cooperation between the two parties over allowing votes on the president’s nominees.
The lengthy roll call and the theatrics accompanying it nearly obscured that Jones’ approval marked a rare congressional victory for gun-control forces. His confirmation came three months after the Senate rejected Obama’s drive to expand background checks for firearms buyers.
In a written statement, Obama applauded senators of both parties for confirming ATF’s first director in seven years – gridlock, he said, caused by Senate Republicans who “put politics ahead of the agency’s law enforcement mission.”(Huffington Post)
Considering how hard it is to get any kind of gun-related vote through Congress nowadays, this is worthy of celebration.
As much as one can slag at financial institutions, isn’t it refreshing to see them actually show a little sign of corporate responsibility?
GE Capital, which provides consumer financing services, had previously provided lending services to gun shops to help consumers finance firearm purchases. Earlier this year, the company sent letters to shops notifying them that the program would be terminated for future purchases.
The move was the result of “a more rigorous audit process… in light of industry changes, new legislation and tragic events that have caused widespread reexamination of policies on firearms,” GE Capital spokesman Russell Wilkerson said in an e-mail.(CNN Money)
In other words, they see where the public sentiment is, they see where the public wants in terms of sensible, common-sense gun-safety legislation and they’re moving in that direction. And GE Capital isn’t the only such company to show some sense of corporate responsibility. According to the same CNN Money article, Wells Fargo and Citigroup have done likewise.
Now if Congress would only listen to the American people on this issue…