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Member since: Sun Jan 14, 2007, 01:51 PM
Number of posts: 7,981

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Why I let my NRA membership expire

I was a proud, card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association until I let my membership expire at the end of 2013.

Over the last decade, we have been reminded of the terror firearms become in the hands of the wrong person. These tragedies heighten our indignation toward groups like the NRA because they are the foremost advocates of the Second Amendment. The NRA and its executive vice president Wayne LaPierre’s response to this animosity has been heartless, unclear and detrimental to the organization.

Why I left the NRA

The reason I let my membership expire — a difficult decision to make — was because LaPierre’s tenure as face of the NRA had become too harmful.

“This guy doesn’t have what the human resources gurus call ‘people skills,’” is how retired gun lobbyist Richard Feldman described LaPierre. While I am not fond of Feldman, his observation of LaPierre summarizes my biggest issue with him and his leadership of the NRA: He does not know how to relate in a non-combative manner.

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 07:32 PM (5 replies)

Outdoor Show Reopens Under New Management: The NRA

Last year, organizers of one of the nation's largest outdoor shows tried to ban certain guns in the wake of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But the industry struck back with a boycott, and the Eastern Sports and Outdoor show was eventually canceled.

This year, it's back and bigger than ever.

Now called the Great American Outdoor Show, it stretches over nearly a million square feet in the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. It's also under new management — the National Rifle Association. But that doesn't mean the show is just about guns, says Todd Boyer, who enjoys hunting and came to the show from nearby York, Pa.

"It's not just hunting; it's not just fishing," Boyer says. "It's recreational shooting, it's hunting, it's fishing — everything's included."

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 01:53 PM (12 replies)

Republican bill to repeal new Colorado background checks on firearm sales fails

DENVER - Republican efforts to put a freeze on mandatory background checks for private gun sales were defeated on a party line vote in the Senate’s State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee Monday night.

More than 20 people spoke in support of the measure and nearly 40 spoke out against it, during a marathon 6½ hour public hearing at the State Capitol.

Senate Bill 14-094 was sponsored by Sen. George Rivera, R-Pueblo. Rivera replaced Sen. Angela Giron after she was recalled because of her support for gun control legislation.

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 01:27 PM (1 replies)

UF lawyers: Gun suit has no legal standing

Florida Carry Inc. has no legal standing to sue the University of Florida and President Bernie Machen over its firearms policy, lawyers for the university said in a five-page motion to dismiss filed Friday.

The motion, filed on behalf of UF by Barry Richard, a shareholder with the Greenberg Traurig law firm, attempts to shoot holes in Florida Carry's arguments that UF illegally restricted the rights of students, faculty and staff to keep firearms on campus.

The suit says that UF has violated the Second Amendment and Florida law by prohibiting guns in cars, dorms and residential housing, but fails to show that any of Florida Carry's members were harmed by UF's firearms policies.

“The complaint fails to allege that even one member, much less a substantial number of members, are substantially affected by an alleged University violation of the cited statutory provisions,” Richard said in his motion to dismiss.

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 10:31 AM (2 replies)

Mass. needs to tighten up its gun laws

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts has some of the nation’s toughest gun laws but can do more to reduce violence and keep firearms away from people with criminal backgrounds or mental illness, according to a task force established after the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

The panel created by House Speaker Robert DeLeo said in a report released Monday that Massachusetts should require background checks for most private firearms sales, increase penalties for failing to report lost or stolen guns, and tighten regulations on rifle ownership.

Other recommendations include a more consistent and uniform approach to firearms licensing and training requirements, tax credits for the purchase of gun safes, and two-way communication from schools to municipal police for use in emergencies.

The state also was urged to join a federal program by transmitting information about people who might be unsuitable to own a gun because of substance abuse or mental illness.

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 06:22 AM (14 replies)

Subtle assault rifle changes still deadly

This probably wasn't the focus group Samuel Colt had in mind when he helped make Connecticut a cradle of the firearms industry.

But as weapons manufacturers try to adapt to a regulatory landscape and political climate reshaped by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, some are turning to a most unusual guide to bring their latest prototypes to market in the state with the toughest gun law in the nation -- the Connecticut State Police.

When Stag Arms of New Britain wanted to produce a scaled-down version of a popular AR-15 rifle that was banned last April by Connecticut -- part of a broader crackdown that was upheld Thursday by a U.S. District Court judge in Hartford -- it ran the specifications by law enforcement.

"Right off the bat, they were helpful," said Mark Malkowski, the company's president and owner. "They did look at prototypes. They did this about three times. After that, they said it really wasn't their responsibility to determine what was legal or not."

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 06:11 AM (26 replies)

Breaking the cycle of school shootings

When the detective arrived at my home, he had a folder in his hand. “We just have some paperwork to take care of first,” he said. After I signed his forms, he gave me a box with the clothes my mother was wearing when she was murdered. It had been almost a year, but I needed to touch them, to know how many times she was shot, to see where she had been hurt.

My mom, Dawn Hochsprung, was the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Recently, I told a woman that my mother had passed away just over a year ago. I was trying to be polite, but I instantly felt disgusted with myself for using the term “passed away.” My mother was shot to death through no fault of her own. That is not “passing away.” She was killed, gunned down in what I would normally have called her haven — her school.

There have been at least 39 school shootings since the massacre in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012. Already this year there have been 10 school shootings, including one Thursday at Eastern Florida State College . Sadly, Americans seem to be getting used to seeing our nation’s youth, parents and educators gather outside schools, waiting to hear if their loved ones are safe.

This past December, the holiday season felt wrong. There was an empty place at our table, and traditions didn’t seem to matter anymore. My daughter was not yet 6 months old when my mother was killed. I tuck her into bed each night with a stuffed doll that was the first and only Christmas gift she’ll ever get from her grandmother. The doll is a nightly reminder that my daughter will never know my mother.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Feb 3, 2014, 04:46 PM (24 replies)

'Ghost guns' face rules under California bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The state Senate approved a bill Thursday that would require people who assemble homemade guns to register the weapons and acquire serial numbers before they could legally own them.

SB808 by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, is intended to combat the spread of undetectable guns that can fall into the hands of people who are legally barred from owning firearms under state and federal laws.

De Leon says so-called "ghost guns" are "built at home and put together like Lego," often using parts that are widely available without a background check and using videos posted online.

He cites the case of John Zawahri, who authorities said assembled his own military-style assault rifle and killed five people in Santa Monica in a June rampage, even after he was banned from legally buying a gun in California because of mental health issues.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Feb 3, 2014, 10:12 AM (5 replies)

One Nation Under Guns?

I admit that I’m a bit of a gun enthusiast. I watch action films. I play first-person-shooter games. I find the thought of visiting a firing range appealing. Yet even I am left in a state of revulsion when I hear that over 12,000 people were killed by firearms in the USA last year and even more are expected to get bitten by the bullet in 2014. In fact, the first mass shooting of the year occurred last Sunday in Maryland. So much for New Years and New Beginnings.

Despite being a fan of gun culture, I am certainly not a fan of massacres, and would like to think that even the most die-hard defenders of the Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms are in agreement with me. Yet any attempts to regulate firearms and thus diminish the number of gun related deaths in America are consistently beaten down in Congress, as pro-gun politicians and lobbyists successfully argued that such regulations won’t work.

Why not legislate smaller magazine sizes so that less people get killed before a criminal has to reload? Many Congressmen and NRA officials argue that such legislation is a waste of time because criminals won’t adhere to them. I suppose by that logic Americans may as well decriminalise murder, rape and theft. What about at least reinstating an assault weapons ban so that military-grade weapons can’t be put into the hands of the common psychopath? President of the NRA, David Keene, claims that the initial Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 “made no difference” to the levels of gun-related deaths in the USA and that therefore any modified version of the ban would also do little to reduce their drastically high rates of mass slaughter. Well you know what they say: If at first you don’t succeed, fuck it.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Feb 3, 2014, 10:09 AM (15 replies)

Access To Guns Triples Suicide Risk; Should US Firearm Regulations Be Tighter?

A person with a gun is nearly twice as likely to get murdered than others, but also three times as likely to take his or her own life.

Investigators from the University of California at San Francisco reviewed 15 studies on the subject of gun violence in America, excluding survey data to focus on more specific information from academic inquiries. Thirteen of the studies were conducted in the United States, with seven occurring after a 1996 federal law — a Clinton/Dole compromise — that banned the U.S. Health Department from funding research that might promote gun control.

Essentially, the team found a higher prevalence of gun ownership in the U.S. than anywhere in the world, with an estimated 31,000 annual deaths from firearms. Among those with access to a gun, including gun owners and others in a household, men were four times as likely to commit suicide than others, while women were nearly three times as likely to be a gunshot victim.

"Our analysis shows that having access to firearms is a significant risk factor for men committing suicide and for women being victims of homicide," Andrew Anglemyer, an expert in study design and data analytics in clinical pharmacy, said in a university press release ahead of the study's publication on Monday. "Since empirical data suggest that most victims of homicide know their assailants, the higher risk for women strongly indicates domestic violence."

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Feb 3, 2014, 10:05 AM (6 replies)
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