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Entries in gun violence (7)

Thursday
Jan172013

President Obama's Bold, Perhaps Historic Gun Control Proposals Spur Fury & Support

NRA Ad: Obama Is ‘Elitist Hypocrite’

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Obama to ‘Put Everything I’ve Got’ Into Gun Control New York Times

Acknowledging that legislative passage of his proposals to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, expand background checks, and toughen gun-trafficking laws, President Obama is taking immediate steps to curb gun violence in America with a series of executive orders.

Speaking on an issue that wasn’t on his to-do-list on Election Day when President Obama was elected to a second term, a reflective Obama surrounded by children and family members of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. said “I will put everything I’ve got into this and so will Joe.”

Out of the gate, even the NRA is saying it might consider strengthening background check laws. 

The 23 executive actions Mr. Obama signed on Wednesday were largely modest initiatives to toughen enforcement of existing laws and to encourage federal agencies and state governments to share more information. Mr. Obama lifted a ban on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from conducting research on gun violence and directed that a letter be sent to health care providers saying doctors may ask patients about guns in their homes.

How Gun Culture Won Over Liberals BuzzFeed

The current political battle over gun laws comes at a moment when American gun culture is more expansive than ever. Guns have gained a foothold among coastal elites that, just a couple decades ago, would have “dismissed the very idea of holding a rifle as obscene and offensive.” 

Christie Blasts NRA Ad

Christie: NRA ad with Obama daughters ‘represensible’ USA Today

New Jersey governor Christie chasticized the NRA for suggesting that President Obama cares about protecting his own daughters but not those of the nation’s parents’. 

Saying that his four children had no choice about whether he intended to become governor of New Jersey, thereby subjecting them to a public status with security details, similarly the Obama daughters had no choice. 

Poll: Republicans Believe Obama’s Hiding Something Politico

64 percent of Republicans believe that President Barack Obama might be hiding something, according to a new poll out of Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey. 33 percent of independents agree, with 14 percent of Democrats pushing the tally to one-third of Americans. 

Higher levels of education and awareness of current events, however, are linked to a reduction in belief in such theories, the study reported. Democrats and independents with more political knowledge were found to be more likely to dismiss conspiracy theories, while Republicans with more political knowledge were more likely to believe the theories.

xxx

NRA, Congress stymied CDC gun research budget CBS

In 1996, the NRA successfully lobbied Congress to pass legislation preventing the Centers for Disease Control from investigating gun violence and its prevention in America.

Specifically, this restriction was placed on the CDC budget: “None of the funds made available … may be used to advocate or promote gun control”.

“These were shots fired across the bow,” said Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who formerly oversaw research into gun violence at the nation’s health research center, “and they the terrorized people at the CDC. And they terrorized researchers who said, ‘Whoa, this is scary. I don’t want my funding jeopardized.’”

The NRA was furious, writes CBS, with a 1993 study that concluded that having a gun at home didn’t minimize danger or offer protection. Instead, having a gun in the house increased almost three-fold the risk of one family member shooting another. 

Michael Mukasey, Former Bush Attorney General: Obama’s Executive Orders Are Constitutional Huffington Post

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush, said he finds Obama’s executive orders “distasteful,” but not unconstitutional.

“I don’t think it’s unconstitutional in the sense that I don’t think it’s something you could get a court to find unconstitutional,” Mukasey told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

Tuesday
Jan152013

America Searches for Consensus on Sensible Gun Control Laws

PEW Research reports in a new survey that 85% of Americans fabor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks.

The level of support from Republicans, Democrats and Independents was uniform. Party lines came together again in common ground with support for laws to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns. 

Bipartisan concensus breaks down on remaining proposals writes PEW. 

Two-thirds of Amricans support the creation of a federal database to track gun sales but the majority comes from 84% of Democrats and only 49% of Republicans. 

Democrats are also more likely (69%) than Republicans (44%) to favor a ban on assault-style weapons. There is also partisan disagreement on banning high-capacity ammunition clips or the sale of ammunition online.

Young Adults & Guns

Even though young people tend to be more anti-gun, they report wanting to own a gun in greater numbers than those who grew up in a household with guns present. 

An October 2012 survey of high school and university students revealed an interesting paradox. 

Researcher Jennifer Lawless, a professor of government at American University, told Live Science that violent shooting incidents in schools may be affecting attitudes of the students. 

In 2010, 32.3 percent of homes in America reported owning a gun, down from a peak of 54 percent in 1977, according to a 2011 report by the Violence Policy Center.

When asked if they plan on having a gun in their own home as an adult, 32 percent of high-schoolers and 43 percent of college students said yes, an unexpected statistic. Another 28 percent of high-schoolers and 17 percent of college students said they’d “maybe” have a gun in their homes as adults.

Males were more iikely to want to own guns than females. Black students were less likely than whites to report wanting to own a firearm as adults. 

In a troubling finding, students who described themselves as “depressed,” “stressed out” or having trouble making friends (about half of the sample reported one of these) were more likely to want to own a gun. So were people who reported playing more than four hours of video games each day. Though the study doesn’t suggest that avid gamers are likely to become homicidal, these isolated and depressed traits might be risk factors for someone more likely than most to do harm to themselves or others, Lawless told LiveScience.

“If the people who are playing video games more than four hours and are somewhat isolated, who are somewhat depressed, are also more likely to believe they would own a gun in the future, we need to make sure we have background checks in place and mental health checks in place to ensure that these people have the ability to have these kind of guns,” she said.

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

NRA endorses own video game for iOS USA Today

Just weeks after accusing the video game industry of perpetuating violent tendencies in American culture, the National Rifle Association released a free game titled NRA: Practice Range. (Note that the Apple app link via Google is now broken.)

Last December, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre slammed a push for gun control following the school shooting in Newtown, laying part of the blame on “vicious, violent video games.”

Releasing the game yesterday on the one month anniversary of the Newton massacre in which 20 children died, the NRA initially recommended the game for four year olds and older.

The NRA’s membership has spiked by 250,000 people since the Newtown shootings, although gun control advocates dispute the claims. That brings its membership to more than 4.2 million. Note that a large majority of NRA members support changes in gun laws that the NRA leadership does not. 

New York’s New Gun Law

New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed on Tuesday (today) the toughest gun control law in America and the first since the Newton, Conn school massacre. In pressing hard for passage of the bill, Cuomo likened gun control to a public health issue, reports TIME.

“This is a scourge on society,” Cuomo said Monday night, six days after making gun control a centerpiece of his State of the State address. The bipartisan effort was fueled by the Newtown tragedy that took the lives of 20 first graders and six educators. “At what point do you say, `No more innocent loss of life’?”

The new law passed the Assembly 104-43 calls for restrictions on ammunition and the sale of guns. The law also expands the definition of assault weapons. 

Under current state law, assault weapons are defined by having two “military rifle” features such as folding stock, muzzle flash suppressor or bayonet mount. The proposal reduces that to one feature and includes the popular pistol grip.

People owning firearms now banned by law are expected to register the guns with the police.

Gabby Giffords Takes on Guns

On the second anniversary of a mass shooting in Arizona that targeted former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the now retired politician and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, launched a political action committee, Americans for Responsible Solutions.

“Special interests purporting to represent gun owners but really advancing the interests of an ideological fringe have used big money and influence to cow Congress into submission,” they write.

The couple are both gun owners and represent a growing number of like-minded people who argue that sensible gun regulation doesn’t present an “existential threat to individual liberties.” CNN reports extensively on the couple’s comments. 

McChrystal backs ‘serious’ gun laws

Retired Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the former top commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said Monday that he supports “serious action” to curb the nation’s gun violence, including an assault weapons ban.

“I spent a career carrying, typically either a M16 and later, a M4 carbine,” McChrystal said. “And an M4 carbine fires a .223 caliber round, which is 5.56 millimeters, at about 3,000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed to do that. And that’s what our soldiers ought to carry.” via Washington Post

Wednesday
Jan022013

Phoenix Rising, Charlotte Allen's Weak Women, The Antichrist: 2013 Should Be A Spectacular Year

Leaning Towards Solace from Sigur Rós Valtari Mystery Films on Vimeo.

Sigur Rós - Dauðalogn & Varúð
Sigur Rós ‘Valtari’ Mystery Film Experiment: Leaning Towards Solace
Directed by: Floria Sigismondi

We start the new year with a beautiful, conceptual film starring Elle Fanning and John Hawkes in ‘Leaning Towards Solace’, part of Sigur Rós’ Valtari Mystery Film Experiment, in which they’ve urged different artists to create short films inspired by songs off their new album Valtari. Follow the link for many other outstanding films that provoke and inspire thought. See also Sigur Rós’ blog.

“Leaning Towards Solace” was made by Black Dog Films and was directed by Floria Sigismondi.

The concept of the Phoenix, found in Greek mythology and also that of Egypt, is supremely threatening to social conservatives who argue that it’s just another anti-Christ, anti-American concept. Anne of Carversville finds Phoenix Rising concept, which represents the reinvigoration of female values and principles into our thinking, of great interest. Our ideas put us at major odds with Charlotte Allen.

Anne Is Watching

Selita Ebanks | Kanye West ‘Runaway’ Full Video Embedded

I went to sleep last night with the most preposterous thoughts, perhaps inspired by watching the hate videos posted yesterday on AOC, on the 150th anniversary of America’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Rarely do I hoot in the dark, saying “Oh, God, Anne. That is a ridiculous thought!” Probably so.

Watching Floria Sigismondi’s beautiful, haunting film above, I couldn’t help thinking of Kanye West’s ‘Runaway’. I’ve posted it again within the context of this new intellectual meditation.

Symbols of the ancient Phoenix are deplored by ardent social conservatives as signifying the rise of the anti-Christ in the form of Lucifer. The Phoenix destroys itself in flames and then rises from the ashes. The symbol is also tied to the ‘Masonic Christ’, considered by today’s social conservative Republicans to represent the global threat of a new world order.

Charlotte Allen’s Bonfire

Conservative pundit, anti-feminist Charlotte Allen, argues at the National Review that men would have made all the difference in the Newtown massacre, simply because they are male. National Review published Allen’s controversial piece on last week, where she attributed the massacre to Sandy Hook’s female staff and its “feminized setting.”

Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.

When the public predictably went nuts over her comments, Allen responded saying she wasn’t blaming the parents. With thinking people combing her words for countless errors in her facts and assertions, Allen sent out another major volley, writing:

I am, however, blaming our culture that denies, dismisses, and denigrates the masculine traits—including size, strength, male aggression and a male facility for strategic thinking–that until recently have been viewed as essential for building a society and protecting its weaker members.

For more information on just how stupid and weak Charlotte Allen thinks women are, read We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get, a 2008 Washington Post op ed piece.

High Profile Parents

Kim Kardashian on pregnancy with Kanye West’s baby: ‘It’s not as easy as people think’ NY Daily News

We’re assured that the birth won’t be televised. And I’m certain that the news that Kim Kardashian and Kanye will be parents has the KKK beyond bezerk.

Kardashian, 32, hit the 1 Oak party just a day after West, 35, dropped the baby bombshell during a performance in Atlantic City. The happy couple raced from New Jersey to Los Angeles early Monday and then high-tailed it to Vegas for Kardashian’s long-scheduled paid appearance.