Tag Archives: Gun Control & Gun Violence

Stop Bringing Your Guns to Starbucks… And Other News

Starbucks Guns

$5 lattes? Yes! Guns? No! Well, maybe. Starbucks says guns are no longer welcome in its stores but stopped short of an outright ban.

After a gun-rights advocates held a “Starbucks Appreciation Day” in August to thank Starbucks for following local gun laws instead of imposing a ban, Starbucks started to think guns and coffee don’t mix. Especially when they realized they had a Newtown Connecticut franchise… In an open letter to customers on Tuesday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said “we do not want these events in our stores.” Schultz said more people were bringing guns to Starbucks in the past few months, and “both sides of the issue were using Starbucks as a staging ground for their own political position.” In a nutshell, bring your wallet but leave your politics (and guns) at home. The Toronto Star

AcapulcoSave the tourists!!! Mexican officials have evacuated over 2,000 tourists from Acapulco, where flooding and landslides from Tropical Storm Manuel and his pal Hurricane Ingrid have already killed 57 people and trapped an estimated 40,000 more. The beach resort town is in chaos after a torrential, three-day downpour cut off several roads and flooded the main airport terminal. The 40,000 unlucky tourists stranded in hotels have been eating rationed food and wondering why they chose this time of year to go on vacation. As for the residents, well, they’re a little worse off. BBC News

PenthousePlayboy up, Penthouse down. The publisher of adult magazine Penthouse has filed for bankruptcy with $300 million of debt. Apparently its readers discovered something called “the internet” and since then readership has steadily plummeted. Last month, FriendFinder’s stock (the company that owns Penthouse) was delisted from Nasdaq because it failed to trade for more than $1. Ouch. But before you get all worried that sex doesn’t sell, Playboy is doing just fine. The men’s magazine has confirmed that Kate Moss will pose on the cover of the 60th-anniversary issue and the issue will feature the supermodel fully nude – with bunny ears of course. Daily Mail

Ottawa Bus TrainTrain + Bus = Collision. At least six people were killed and 30 injured in a train-bus collision Wednesday morning in Ottawa. Apparently the bus didn’t stop for warning signals and ended up colliding with a VIA train, shearing off the front end of the bus. The driver of the bus was pronounced dead on the scene along with four others. Another person died in the hospital was bus/train related injuries. Transportation Safety Board investigators are looking into things and the pressure is on to determine the cause of the crash – especially since this is the worst rail accident since a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in a Quebec town in July, killing 47 people. Actually that wasn’t very long ago… Canada has a lot of rail accidents. CBC News

Iran PrisonerYou’re freeee!!! Run! Word on the street is that Iran has freed at least 11 political prisoners, including noted human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. And to make it extra special, it happened on the eve of a visit by Iran’s new (slightly less crazy) president, Hassan Rouhani, to the United States. Could Obama and Rouhani’s new pen pal friendship be paying off? Experts (me) say yes! Releasing prisoners is always high on the list of ways to repair fractured relationships. As for the prisoners, they don’t care either way, they’re just happy they’re out of prison. After her release, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was serving six years in prison for “acting against national security”, said, “I don’t know why they released me. I don’t know under what legal basis they released me. But I am free.” New York Times

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Aaron Alexis

Current Event Cat - NAval Yard Rampage Aaron Alexis

The Washington D.C Navy Yard shooting rampage ended yesterday with the death of the gunman, Aaron Alexis.

While information about the killer was scarce amid the chaos yesterday, things are now getting pieced together. Aaron Alexis, who ended up killing 13 people and wounding at least eight on Monday, was in the Navy Reserves but was discharged from in January 2011 for a “pattern of misconduct.”

After that, Aaron Alexis, 34, worked for a military subcontractor and he was employed as a technical contractor at the Washington Navy Yard, which allowed him access to the building.

Alexis had a less than stellar police record: he had been arrested twice, once in 2004 for shooting at the tires of a neighbor’s car in Seattle and again in 2010 for firing a bullet into his Ft. Worth apartment. According to a 2004 Seattle police report, a family member said he had “anger management problems.” No kidding.

The gunman was also no stranger to mental health problems. He was treated for paranoia, trouble sleeping and hearing voices.

No motive is known for the attack. Disgruntled employee? Crazy in the head? Boredom? Investigators are working on piecing together a plausible motive…

The victims ranged in age from 46 to 73, and details about their identities and lives have just begun to trickle out. Authorities said they are still contacting some of the victims’ families.

Via: The New York Times & Current Event Cats

Hot New Trend Alert: Guns in Bars

Guns in Bars

Guns? Check. Alcohol? Check. Confined space filled with drunks? Check. Guns in bars. What could go wrong?

The Republican-led North Carolina state legislature has just passed a measure expanding the state’s concealed-weapons-carry laws to include the right for permit holders to bring guns into restaurants and bars. However, the bar/restaurant owners have to be OK with it – otherwise, no guns in bars. And by “OK with it”, I mean they don’t expressly forbid it.

The Republican-backed measure will also allow concealed-carry permit holders to store weapons in locked cars on the campus of any public school or university. Guns will also now be allowed on greenways, playgrounds and other public recreation areas. There’s nothing like a gun on a playground to spice up an otherwise dull playdate.

But the gun lovers didn’t get their way on everything. The final bill did not include the controversial provision that would have repealed the long-standing law requiring a background check and permit issued by county sheriffs for handgun purchases.

The bill now awaits Republican Governor Pat McCrory’s signature. But given that it’s North Carolina, I’m pretty sure he’s going to sign it…

Via: The Associated Press 

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Mother’s Day Parade

Current Event Cat - Mother's Day Parade

19 people were shot on Sunday during a Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans. Apparently the United States cannot go one week without a shooting or a bombing.

Three gunmen opened fire on hundreds of people during the second-line parade – an impromptu procession in which people dance behind the official Mother’s Day parade.

“Somebody in the crowd yelled ‘everybody get down’, so we did. We just hit the deck. We saw a lot of people diving to the ground,” said one witness. “We waited about 40 seconds and the firing had stopped. We thought: we’ve got to get out of here.”

Although no fatalities occurred, four people were rushed to surgery and three are reportedly in critical conditions. The victims included two 10-year-old children who were grazed by bullets.

The incident occurred in the 7th Ward, a poor neighbourhood not far from the French Quarter that is still recovering from the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Police are searching for three suspects who were spotted fleeing the Mother’s Day parade scene. Their motive is unknown – perhaps it is gang-related or perhaps they just really hated Mother’s Day. What is known, however, is that this was not an act of terrorism – it was strictly an act of street violence, according to the FBI. And if there’s one thing New Orleans knows well (aside from Jazz, drinking, and seafood), it’s street crime.

Via: Current Event Cats

A Gun is a Great Gift for a 5-Year-Old

5-year-old with a gun

What’s the worst thing that can happen when you give a 5-year-old a gun as a gift? Answer: he shoots and kills his two-year-old sister.

A 5-year-old boy in Kentucky shot and killed his 2-year-old sister while playing with a .22 caliber rifle that he was given as a birthday gift. Who gives a gun to a 5-year-old? Apparently a lot of people, because the gun was from a line of “little Crickett rifles” made for youths. The Crickett website features three different .22-caliber rifle models for kids, with shoulder stock colors ranging from pink to red, white and blue swirls. “My first rifle” is the company’s slogan.

Kentucky State Police Public Affairs officer Billy Gregory says, “In this part of the country, it’s not uncommon for a 5-year-old to have a gun or for a parent to pass one down to their kid.”

Ok… rifles for kids seems a little weird, but why didn’t the family keep it locked away or at least remove the bullets? They did! Kind of. The gun was kept in “the corner” and they didn’t “realize” a shell was left inside. Somehow the five-year-old managed to get into “the corner”, grab the gun and shoot his little sister. And just when you thought leaving weapons in the corner was safe!

The toddler was shot in the family home just after 1pm on Tuesday. The child’s mother was at home at the time but had quickly stepped out.

“The mother was home at the time of the incident but she had stepped outside,” Gregory said. “It’s just one of those nightmares — a quick thing that happens when you turn your back.”

Yes, a quick thing that happens when you give your 5-year-old a loaded gun as a birthday gift.

Via: CNN

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Show Gun, Get Free Fried Chicken… And Other News

Free Fried Chicken

How far would you go to get some free fried chicken? A Louisiana fried chicken joint offered free fried chicken to customers who brought their guns in with them.

The Bossier City restaurant offered free #1 combo meals on Saturday for concealed handgun permit holders. Chicken Express owner Randal Neel says they’ve had a positive response to the free fried chicken deal and it was the busiest Saturday he’s ever had. Neel says it’s his way of taking a stand as a gun rights advocate and making a statement as the Louisiana legislature prepared to take up several gun regulation proposals. “It feels really good to be able to stand up for what you believe in.” KSLA

Boston MarathonNot exactly the bucket of Gatorade you were hoping for at the end of a marathon. Two explosions went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, leaving an unknown number of spectators injured. Video footage of the race showed a cloud of white smoke near the finish line and screams from the spectators. Runners were re-directed and the bomb squad came in to do their thing. Not much information on culprit(s) yet. NBC News

Happy Birthday KimHappy Birthday Kim Il-sung! North Korea celebrates the 101st anniversary of the birth of its founding father Kim Il-sung. Kim Jong-un visited the mausoleum of his grandfather and his father Kim jong-il in Pyongyang. How did the rest of North Korea celebrate? North Koreans celebrate the two day holiday by laying flowers at images and statues of the Kims, drinking barley tea and soft drinks, and watching outdoor music shows. And how did South Korea celebrate? By suspiciously peering over the border and remaining on high alert. BBC News

Masters CatWinning takes care of everything! Australian Adam Scott won the Masters golf tournament in a sudden death putt-off, which I presume is the most exciting thing that could happen in a golf game. Scott defeated Angel Carbrera, becoming the first Australian to win the tournament. Fun Fact: Scott won with the help of Steve Williams, the caddy Tiger Woods fired in 2011. Tiger tied for fourth. Washington Post

Gitmo is Killing MeGitmo is Killing Me! Well, that or the hunger strike. An inmate detained at Guantanamo Bay gave a graphic account of his participation in a hunger strike at the US-run military prison. Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel has been detained for 11 years and three months and has been fasting since February 10. In an op-ed published in the New York Times entitled “Gitmo Is Killing Me,” he writes: “I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.” FYI, this is how foie gras is made (but with ducks, not prisoners). New York Times

MaduroThe Venezuela election results are in and they’re already being contested. Nicolas Maduro, Hugo Chavez’s hand picked successor, won by a thin margin, 50.7% to 49.1% for Henrique Caprilles. Caprilles, however, wasn’t too pleased. The opposition leader has demanded the National Electorial Council not to proclaim Maduro as the country’s new president until an electoral audit has been performed. “We are not going to recognize the results until each vote of the Venezuelan people is counted, one by one,” said Capriles. He also urged national protests and a march in Caracas. What a sore loser. Washington Post

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“If Babies Had Guns They Wouldn’t Be Aborted”

Stockman Loves Babies with Guns

Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas asked himself ‘how can we combine the gun control debate with the abortion debate’. The answer? Giving guns to fetuses.

On Friday, the pro-gun, anti-abortion rights Republican unveiled his new campaign bumper sticker on Twitter:

“If babies had guns they wouldn’t be aborted. Vote Pro-Life!”

Stockmen Tweets About Guns and Babies

Logistics aside (such as, how do you stop the gun from firing while trying to deliver it to the baby?), great slogan. It pretty much sums up Rep Stockman’s position: more guns, more babies, and more babies with guns. 

The #gosnell refers to the trail of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was arrested last year on murder charges. He has been accused of running an abortion clinic that offered late term abortions. But that’s not all: the doctor has also been charged in the murder of a woman during a botched abortion, as well as the murder of seven babies born alive.

Stockman, like many other conservatives, wants the liberal media to focus more heavily on the trial. As some gruesome details of the trail have leaked out, conservatives have accused the media of ignoring a story that could start a whole new debate over abortion rights. The campaign slogan, however, is a little harder to ignore.

Stockman recently invited all gun owners and manufacturers who feel “unwanted” and “persecuted” by their states’ restrictive gun control policies to move to Texas. Perhaps he could invite all the unwanted babies too? Or, since Stockman believes in unrestricted access to guns to reduce violent crime, he could promote open and unrestricted access to reliable birth control methods to reduce the number of abortions. Just a thought… Although it makes for a less catchy bumper sticker. 

Via: The Christian Science Monitor

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Ann Coulter Wants to Kill Meghan McCain and the Rwandan Genocide is Coming to the US

Ann Coulter and Meghan McCain

After misinterpreting a plea for gun control as a desire to kill politicians’ families, Ann Coulter has chosen Meghan McCain as the first to die.

Earlier in the week, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings told MSNBC host Martin Bashir that gun control was an important issue for him because it hit so close to home. Cummings revealed that his 21-year-old nephew had been shot and killed several years ago.

Bashir replied by implying it was ridiculous that members of Congress should have to have a personal experience with gun violence to realize that it was a problem.

“But Congressman, is that what needs to happen to move these senators to stop threatening a filibuster?” Bashir asked. “Is that really what needs to happen? That you need to have a member of your family killed in order for you to do what the American people want you to do?”

Now, anyone else would have just thought Bashir was trying to make a point, but Ann Coulter decided to pretend it meant he was advocating killing politicians’ families in order for them to support the Democrats’ gun proposal. She also suggested they should start with Meghan McCain. Not a bad choice, but Meghan wasn’t too impressed. The daughter of Senator John McCain took to Twitter, writing:

“Apparently Ann Coulter made a joke about me being killed in a recent column. I should expect nothing less but disgusted regardless.”

Cindy McCain added “Ann Coulter needs to get a life!” Good one, Cindy!

But that’s not even the craziest thing that’s been said about gun control this week:

Yesterday, South Carolina’s Rep. Jeff Duncan warned the world that Obama’s attempts to impose background checks on gun buyers would lead to a US version of the Rwandan genocide.

According to his Facebook page, Duncan believes that national databases will be used for very sinister purposes.

“Ask yourselves about a National gun registry database and how that might be used and why it is so wanted by progressives.”

Ok, Duncan, I’ll bite. How will it be used and why do those crazy liberals want it so badly?

“Read about the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Read that all Tutsi tribe members were required to register their address with the Hutu government and that this database was used to locate Tutsi for slaughter at the hands of the Hutu. (Since the government had the names and addresses of nearly all Tutsis living in Rwanda (remember, each Rwandan had an identity card that labeled them Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa) the killers could go door to door, slaughtering the Tutsis.”

So, the government wants gun owners’ addresses so they can create a database of Americans they want to slaughter?  I’m pretty sure the government already has access to everyone’s address, but I guess we should just play it safe and be on the look out for any machete-wielding Hutus.

Via: Raw Story

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Obama’s Gun Control Tour Goes to Connecticut

Obama Gun COntrol

Trying to boost support for his gun control legislation, Obama travelled to Connecticut yesterday to speak before a crowd at the University of Hartford.

An emotional Obama urged lawmakers to vote on gun control legislation and urged citizens to demand action.

“If you’re an American who wants to do something to prevent more families from knowing the immeasurable anguish that these families here have known, then we have to act,” Obama said. Now’s the time to get engaged. Now’s the time to get involved. Now’s the time to push back on fear and frustration and misinformation. Now’s the time for everybody to make their voices heard, from every statehouse to the corridors of Congress.”

Obama then returned to Washington DC with eleven parents of young children who were killed in the Newtown school shooting. They will make their case for stricter gun control this week to members of Congress who have net yet backed the bill.

The president has called for a vote on his three gun legislation priorities:

  • strengthening background checks
  • limiting the size of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds
  • ban on assault weapons.

Despite opinion polls showing most Americans support a ban on assault weapons and other gun control measures, the Senate has already ditched the proposed ban on assault weapons and on high-capacity magazines citing lack of support. Republicans are also threatening to filibuster their way into delaying any gun votes.

Meanwhile, over in Tennessee, a 4-year-old is also making the case for gun control. The toddler reportedly grabbed a loaded gun during a family cookout and accidentally (or on purpose?) shot and killed the wife of a Tennessee sheriff’s deputy. The debuty was showing relatives his guns when the boy walked in, picked up the gun off the bed, and fired off a single round.

Fun Fact: Gun-friendly Tennessee has one of the highest rates of fatal accidental shootings in the nation. In fact, in three separate incidents, minors in Tennessee accidentally shot and killed three people last year.

Via: BBC News

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It’s Illegal NOT to Own a Gun in Nelson, Georgia

Nelson Georgia

Nothing says freedom like a law requiring you to own a gun! Nelson, Georgia’s city council voted Monday night to make gun ownership mandatory.

Whereas some cities are pushing for stricter gun laws in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, Nelson, Georgia has decided to take a drastically different route and stand up for/misinterpret the Second Amendment. Council members voted unanimously to approve the “Family Protection Ordinance” which will require the head of every household to own a gun and ammunition.

The ordinance, however, is largely symbolic. No penalties will be inflicted on anyone who doesn’t comply with the law. The ordinance also exempts convicted felons and those who suffer from certain physical or mental disabilities. Phew.

City Councilman Duane Cronic, who sponsored the measure, believes it will make the town (population: 1,300) a safer place.

“I likened it to a security sign that people put up in their front yards. Some people have security systems, some people don’t, but they put those signs up,” he said. “I really felt like this ordinance was a security sign for our city. Basically it was a deterrent ordinance to tell potential criminals they might want to go on down the road a little bit.”

First, I wouldn’t call a town of 1,300 a city. Second, crime in Nelson, Georgia, which only has one police officer, is very low and consists mainly of petty theft. But the police chief doesn’t agree. Even though the last homicide was over 5 years ago, Police Chief Heath Mitchell, the town’s sole police officer, believes that having a gun would deter crime and also help residents take their protection into their own hands. Protection against petty theft? Maybe Nelson should stop spending money creating symbolic laws and invest in a more useful police officer.

Via: The Toronto Star

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