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Neon Gods

Profile Information

Name: Trakker
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Maryland
Home country: USA
Member since: Sun Sep 15, 2013, 11:13 AM
Number of posts: 222

About Me

Retired. I\'ve worked in a factory and was a member of the UAW. I spent four years in the Air Force, got a degree using the GI Bill, and worked for the federal government as a cartographer and editor. I first joined DU in 2003 with a different ID, but stopped posting when I started my own blog. Now I\'m back (personal blogs are hard work!) with a new ID.

Journal Archives

Emily Got Her Gun, but her story is a lie.

Things are not looking good for NRA hero Emily Miller, Chief Investigative Reporter for WTTG Fox5 in Washington, DC. Yesterday Washington Post's media blogger, Erik Wemple, posted more information about Miller's bizarre "home invasion" story, which she turned into a newspaper series, "Emily Gets Her Gun," and book, "Emily Gets Her Gun...But Obama Wants to Take Yours" (the title alone should raise some flags), plus speaking engagements at pro-gun rallies (a clear violation of professional journalistic ethics).

Wemple obtained new, supplemental, police reports which casts even more doubt on the veracity of Emily Miller's sensationalist tale about the "15 scruffy young men standing around two pickup trucks", and the "the blood-shot-eyed guy" who "darted out, blocking the shot" when she claims she tried to take their picture. This is information that would certainly be helpful to the police (15 scruffy men, two pickup trucks, one man with bloodshot eyes) and would surely have been included in her report to the police, right?

No. In fact the report she gave to the police right after it happened tells a completely different story: it was not a "home invasion," the alleged burglar was not still in the house when she went in, there was only one man, driving a silver pickup truck, who said he was there to deliver firewood, and who gave her his business card. No other men and no other pickup truck was mentioned.

I'll leave it to you to read Wemple's column pointing out discrepancies and inconsistencies (linked above). There are still some unanswered questions (if the police had the landscaper's business card, what did they find out from him? Was it bogus? Why didn't Miller follow up on the information the police developed about her credit card usage?), so I hope he continues to investigate further.

I point all this out because this is typical, in my experience, of NRA sensationalist propaganda, designed to portray America as so dangerous and frightening that one must arm oneself or face death at the hands of fearsome thugs. Compare the police report to the NRA video. Compare the police report to the narrative Miller has since turned into a newspaper series, highly regarded by RKBA posters here. And yet, in my many years of dealing with pro-gunners, they often accuse pro-controllers of consistently lying, but their side is comprised of honest, law-abiding, Americans who would never lie. When it comes to politics, both sides of any contentious issue are quite capable of lying, and every fact and story should be approached with skepticism.

Interesting poll

Given the noise from the extremists on both sides it is often hard to know how the average person feels about carrying guns in public. This poll probably provides a good idea of how people in the western states feel about the issue. From the Texas Tribune:

"Most Texas voters support the right to carry guns in public, but a large majority would not allow open carry of those weapons with or without licenses, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Almost a quarter said Texans should never be allowed to carry handguns in public, and only 10 percent said they should always be allowed with no license required."

{Poll was taken this month with a margin of error of 2.83%)


Always allowed, without a license..... 10%
Concealed or open, with license........ 22%
Concealed only, with license............. 45%
Never............................................ 23%

Interesting factoid, "Among Republicans, 6 percent said always and 12 percent said never."

More: "Voters are split when it comes to allowing concealed handguns on state college and university campuses, with 47 percent saying they support guaranteeing the right of faculty, staff and students to carry weapons and 45 percent saying they oppose it. And while 22 percent strongly support the proposal, 32 percent strongly oppose it."

Given that this is Texas, I was surprised at how relatively few said "Always allowed, without a license," and how many of those polled said "Never," especially the 12% of Republicans who said "Never."

Emily Got Her Gun

Recently we saw a post here titled "Emily FINALLY Gets Her Gun". It was posted by a pro-gunner and it received 137 replies (at this writing), most of them by pro-gunners.

Emily is Emily Miller, the chief investigative correspondent at WTTG (Fox5) in Washington, DC. She is also a pro-gun activist. WTTG recently admitted this. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) has pointed out that Emily Miller's pro-gun activism violates the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics which states that journalists should “act independently” by avoiding “conflicts of interest, real or perceived” and “political…activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality.” (http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp) So they have posted a petition for people to sign demanding that Miller be fired as WTTG's chief investigative correspondent, which I signed.

One should know that Emily is a NRA hero, and a hero to at least a few pro-gunners here. I came to the discussion late, post #46, and was surprised to find that the pro-gunners were clueless as to why CSGV wants her fired. Even though they linked to CSGV's petition, evidently they didn't read it. They claimed CSGV wanted to silence Miller, taking away her First Amendment rights. Instead CSGV was pointing out that by acting as a political activist, Emily Miller was violating professional journalist's code of ethics.

Imagine my delight last night to find that Washington Post's Media blogger, Eric Wemple, had just published a blog post about this very subject. (http://wapo.st/1BmuAaV). [He wrote about her activism on February 10 as well (http://wapo.st/1wqZ6dY)]

Yesterday he wrote,

"In an instance of stunning journalistic transparency, WTTG-TV (Fox5) this week disclosed that chief investigative correspondent Emily Miller is a “proponent” for Second Amendment rights. An activist, in other words.

It’s a strange role for any investigative reporter, and its perils surface in a number of statements that Miller has made in recent years."

Wemple then examined the many claims Miller has made to various media outlets about the incident that she says spurred her desire to buy a gun for protection, and compared them to the original police report, and it's pretty obvious that much of what she has told the press doesn't square with the facts, nor does the NRA's video recreation of the crime. This may be par for the course for people who are activists, but it is not the behavior we expect from journalists. CSGV is right, she should be fired. If you agree, consider signing their petition (http://csgv.org/action/tell-wttg-general-manager-patrick-paolini-fire-emily-miller/).

I'm sticking my toe in the water...

Hi, I'm a socialist, but socialist/socialism is a broad term and there seems to be different degrees, if you will, of socialism, so I'm not sure if I fit here.

I'm 69 and retired from the federal government. Out of high school I worked in a factory that was represented by the UAW. I was a member for a few years. I also spent four years in the military then used the GI Bill to get a degree and then got a job as a cartographer with the government.

I believe every worker should be a member of a union. That right should be encouraged, facilitated, and protected by the federal government. That should be one of liberal's/progressive's highest priorities. Another high priority should be educating voters on the true meaning of capitalism, and what socialism really is. The American public is woefully ignorant of capitalism, especially. In other words our first order of business is education. We must convince workers that joining unions is in their best interests and that, of course, the wealthy and corporate America will do anything to convince them otherwise.

As for capitalism, I believe it does some things better than socialism, but only if highly regulated, with diligent oversight, and a mechanism for modifying regulations at a moment's notice because capitalists have high paid legal experts constantly looking for loopholes to exploit. Which means we will have to have a large, flexible government able to nimbly regulate, investigate, and prosecute when necessary.

As for socialism, we are already, in many ways, a socialist nation. The government provides far more services and goods than anyone knows. The Internet, GPS, weather satellites, etc., etc., all developed by or provided by our socialist government. How come no one in power has the guts to point this out? My wildest dream is that someone running for Congress would ask their Tea Party opponent if they would search out and eliminate any and all socialist programs in government. If they said yes!, then pull out a six-foot long list of government services and programs that they can start with.

So my version of socialism would allow a highly regulated form of capitalism, with workers unionized, and the government would ensure everyone has adequate food, water, shelter, health care, day care for those who need it, free public education (including college), a secure voluntary retirement at an appropriate age, etc., etc.

I'm not sure if this group envisions a government that allows a capitalist component or not. I have a hard time envisioning a happy, successful, progressive society without allowing for some measure of capitalism. If that violates one of the requirements of this group let me know. I'll understand.


I'm back. I joined DU in 2003, but stopped posting a few years later when I started my own blog. Now I'm back, with a new name.

I'm retired so I've been able to think a lot about some subjects that interest me: race relations, unions, capitalism, the role of government, etc. Though I consider myself a liberal and a socialist, I read non-liberal writers, including Andrew Sullivan and Ross Douthat, not because I agree with them, but because I'm certain liberals don't have all the answers (I wish we did). Truth should trump ideology.
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