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NRA Curiously Silent On Rampant Guns Making Mideast So Safe

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NRA logoWashington, DC, July 19 – Conservative thinkers across the US expressed bewilderment this week upon realizing that the nation’s premier gun-rights advocacy group is missing a golden opportunity to argue for freer access to firearms by invoking the situation in the Middle East, where weapons flow everywhere nearly unrestricted and as a result, the citizens enjoy a level of peace, liberty, and prosperity that Americans can only envy.

A group of Tea Party, Libertarian, and other conservative pundits gathered earlier this week in Las Vegas to discuss legislative lobbing strategies for this November and beyond. From those conversations it emerged that the current public awareness and lobbying campaigns were completely missing the most compelling piece of evidence in their potential rhetorical arsenal: the correlation between large numbers of Arabs armed to the teeth and the success of those Arabs in forging tranquil, courteous, democratic societies.

“If the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, then the gun-toting good people of Iraq, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Sinai, and Libya must be so secure as to warrant emulation,” said right-wing radio talk show icon Rush Limbaugh. “I seldom have words of criticism for my friends at the National Rifle Association, but I contend they dropped the ball on this issue by neglecting to marshal this winning argument.”

No hard numbers exist for the per capita distribution of firearms in the Levant and surrounding evirons, in part because the limited reach of the central governments does not allow for effective statistical measures.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took up that point, noting that the decentralized governmental structures of the governments in those heavily armed countries was especially conducive to prosperity and security. “Just look at the burgeoning trade those countries enjoy,” he said. “There is almost no top-down market regulation, leaving it up to local sensibilities to determine who may traffic in what materials and services. That is what I call a recipe for liberty.” He expressed alarm that conservative organizations at large had not latched onto that argument.

(Originally posted at http://www.preoccupiedterritory.com/nra-curiously-silent-on-rampant-guns-making-mideast-so-safe/)

Written by Thag

July 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm

American Kids Celebrate End Of School Shooting Year

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AR-15Washington, DC, June 12 – Children across the country are excited for the end of the school shooting term, finally free not to attend the institutions where they are forced to sit in classrooms and are placed at increased risk for being killed or wounded by gunfire.

Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre at the end of 2012, 74 school shooting incidents have taken place in the United States. The litany of such massacres has had no impact on gun control efforts, leaving parents, teachers and administrators with no choice but to simply wait for the school shooting year to end and hope that yet another recurrence does not hit them in the meantime.

“Summer vacation is always a challenge, but this year we’re a little relieved the school shooting year is basically over,” said Eugene, Oregon-area resident Alex Mully. “Summer camp might be expensive, but even with all the climbing, jumping, hiking, camping, dirt, and wilderness, it’s still seems safer than school.”

Mully is hardly alone in his sentiments. Parents and teachers in high schools from coast to coast have joined Facebook groups and other social media venues dedicated to counting down the number of days left until a school shooting is no longer a possibility, as least until September. The groups have become a mixture of cheering each passing day, sharing techniques for coping with the sense of danger, and recipes for cupcakes and other treats to keep the children’s mind off the possibility that at any time in the next few days, a disturbed or evil person will kill and maim them with weapons and ammunition that the politicians seem powerless or unwilling to limit.

The Department of Education has put out an online publication urging principals and teachers not to be distracted by the impending sense of respite, and that they continue to shoulder educational responsibilities. “Let us not lose our focus on the goal,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in an introductory message. Our goal was and remains the provision of knowledge and skills for understanding and functioning in the world, and we cannot allow ourselves to be thwarted by the prospect of being pumped full of lead from an assault rifle. We must therefore ignore that threat.”

Written by Thag

June 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Moscow School Shooting Means US Overseas Influence Alive And Well

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They even use Fords!

They even use Fords!

Washington, DC, February 3 – American officials are expressing their gratification at a welcome sign of US influence abroad in the shooting deaths of a Moscow teacher and police officer by a student. The student also wounded a second policeman, giving American leaders an indication that the oft-cited retrenchment of US power overseas is not the foregone conclusion it has been made out to be.

Shootings of this type have been relatively rare in Russia, prompting Congressional leaders to reconsider their criticism of the Obama administration over a Presidential reluctance to engage heavily overseas. Both Democratic and Republican politicians now say that it may be possible for the US to retain its sway without a direct military presence, or the threat thereof, as long as the people of other nations are moved to emulate American mores, pursuits, and values such as the perpetration of gun violence against fellow citizens.

Officials had feared that as the US withdrew forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, it would face challenges in spreading American sensibilities across the globe. But the aftermath of the Iraq withdrawal and the leadup to disengagement from Afghanistan have seen the opposite trend in ascendance: the local population, sprinkled with some foreign activists, has established its own methods for engineering the random, violent deaths of others.

Whereas American military and diplomatic officials had expressed concern over Afghan and Iraqi capabilities once NATO’s advanced weaponry was out of the picture, in fact the locals showed remarkable resourcefulness in duplicating the alliance’s destructive power through cruder means. Moreover, while US military strikes focused only on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and occasionally Somalia, the impact of America’s culture of violence has reached beyond those countries to Syria, Egypt, and even Lebanon – and now Russia, as well, which most experts had assumed would lie well outside the sphere of American influence.

“I’m not surprised that this shooting occurred right after the Super Bowl,” said Theodore Kaczynski, who writes about politics and violence. “Football after all, combines the two most American of activities: violence and committee meetings. And we’ve just seen the year’s most heavily marketed episode of violence, broadcast across the globe.”

Written by Thag

February 3, 2014 at 7:59 pm

To Combat School Shootings, GOP Proposes Banning Schools

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BoehnerWashington, DC (AP) – A rash of mass shootings in recent months has shaken even the Republican political establishment, leading its leaders to propose a sweeping measure to outlaw schools in order to prevent more school shootings.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters Monday that the GOP would soon introduce legislation that both addressed the school safety concerns of millions of parents and protected Second Amendment rights. The law would mandate home schooling, depriving would-be gunmen of venues such as Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where dozens of children and faculty were murdered or wounded in December.

At the same time, said Boehner, the measure would safeguard the cherished access to firearms that Americans enjoy, since the closure of the schools would effectively eliminate them as targets for such assailants, thereby removing the need to further regulate what firearms industry spokespeople have called an excessively burdened industry.

A further benefit of eliminating schools would be a sizable savings in government education spending. “And that’s not all,” added Boehner. “We’re going to take the government out of the schools and let parents use their autonomy to decide how best to educate their children.” Thus, for example, children in run-down, foreclosure-plagued Chicago suburbs, whose schools have ceased to function effectively, would no longer be forced to attend those failing institutions, and could spend more time at home.

“What the Republicans are proposing is a win-win situation,” explained conservative columnist Hope Liss. “One of the holy grails of conservative politics is smaller government and less spending. This initiative would essentially eliminate all primary education costs at the federal level, letting states and local government handle them as they see fit. And it would also be tough on crime, cutting down on the opportunities that attackers might have to terrorize schoolchildren.”

What’s more, added Liss, the Republican Party’s voter base has shrunk over the last decade, and it must rely more and more on election campaign strategies devoid of substance in order to scare or seduce the less-educated, more easily manipulated citizen into casting its ballot for the GOP candidate. Making public education that much less available primes the next several generations of voters to more easily react in the ways the Republican strategists wish.

The GOP faces a tough sell with parents of college-age children, however. “Virginia Tech could happen again,” warned Sorrel Luser, who heads an Atlanta-area group of anti-crime activists, referring to a 2007 mass shooting that took 32 lives. “This proposal doesn’t go far enough. If the Republicans were really serious about this, they’d go all the way, and outlaw all education.”

“Except maybe the study of Chinese,” he conceded. “We’re all gonna need to know that pretty soon.”

Written by Thag

June 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Federal Agents Find Weapons in Raided Gun Shop

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gun seizureAustin, Texas (AP) – Agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided a gun store in the downtown area of the Texas capital today, where they found a sizable stash of weapons, said an agency spokesman.

“The team entered the shop and found literally hundreds of guns lying there in plain sight,” said Walther Remington, the spokesman. “The proprietor clearly had no compunctions about displaying his extensive inventory of deadly weapons.” The shop owner was taken into custody but has not yet been formally charged.

Neighbors expressed little surprise at the turn of events. “The guy has been running the shop for almost twenty years,” said Mark Smann, who runs a nearby dry cleaning business. “People go in and out of there all the time, and everyone knows why.  It’s not like you can hide a high-powered hunting rifle in your purse.”

“What gets me is not that the guy has been selling guns basically out in the open for years and years,” said Sharpe Schuter, a retail manager at a clothing store down the street. “It took the Bureau this long to notice? That’s the surprising thing.”

It is not clear when the BATF became aware of the gun shop’s stash of weapons, or what prompted them to raid the establishment when they did. Remington claimed only basic knowledge of the case, but called the procedure routine.

“The Bureau’s mission is to prevent dangerous firearms from reaching the wrong hands. Anyone walking by the store could see the racks of deadly weaponry, and it would only be a matter of time before someone acquired one or more of those guns. The Bureau felt compelled to act, and discovered that the inventory of guns was even more extensive than we’d suspected.”

drugsThe episode comes on the heels of a similar incident last week in Florida, when the Drug Enforcement Administration seized thousands of pills, syringes and dangerous powders from a Miami Beach pharmacy. In that case, the pharmacy’s owner publicly admitted trafficking in the substances, and that doing so provided a comfortable livelihood. The DEA subsequently discovered hundreds of other such establishments in Florida, and the director voiced his suspicion that thousands more are active across the country.

Also last week, New York State authorities opened an investigation into the presence of large quantities of dihydrogen monoxide in its plumbing and sewage systems.

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Written by Thag

February 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

NRA, Health Dept. Advocate New Public Health Policy: Hunt Fat People

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fat target

Some of the preliminary work has already been done.

Washington, DC (AP) – The incoming Obama administration has already put forward an ambitious new plan, developed with the National Rifle Association, to combat worrisome obesity trends, and it also signals a breakthrough on gun control legislation.

Long a public health issue, obesity in America has never been more prevalent; a CDC study released in August found that not a single US state had less than a 20% obesity rate, with Southern states averaging more than 35%. Many of those states support lax gun control measures, a fact that signaled opportunity to outgoing Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius.

“It became clear to me, especially after the Newtown massacre, that we need to find a way to work with the gun lobby,” she said at a press conference. “Guns are a public health issue, no question – and we need to engage the gun industry in our efforts to keep America living well.” They key, said Sibelius, was getting the NRA’s agreement on strict gun control measures in exchange for open season on obese people, of which there are now more than 78 million across the country, according to CDC statistics.

“It’s a win-win situation,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “Everyone understands the value of free access to firearms – it’s one of our basic rights as Americans. But we at the NRA also understand that our future as a free nation is just as threatened by the lumbering, flabby dweebs who put such a strain on public resources,” he remarked.

“We believe law-abiding American gun owners and users will welcome this minor inconvenience,” he continued. The new policy “puts paid the notion that the firearms industry and its allies are incapable of compromise.”

Under the program, a pilot will first be conducted in several suburban areas with a high concentration of fast food establishments. State and local health authorities will be tasked with tagging the obese with identifying markers. Tranquilizer guns will be made available for this phase, but Sebelius expects them not be necessary in most cases. “What are they going to do, run away?” she asked with a chuckle, noting the tens of millions of dollars that would be saved in diabetes-related treatments alone.

LaPierre found particular virtue in a provision of the legislation allowing the use of armor-piercing bullets on the obese. “It’s very important that we secured that right,” he stated, and said that the NRA found any restrictions on the bullets problematic, but was willing to go along with limitations on their use in other contexts. “There will be plenty of opportunity to exercise our Second Amendment rights with whatever ammunition we desire, as long as we target only the legitimately obese – and let’s face it, they make sweet targets.”

The proposal is not without administrative and legislative hurdles. The food and beverage industry may be loath to see its prime customer base drastically reduced, but lobbyists have said they might be willing to accept some population reduction, given that obesity is a growth industry. The extent of the industry’s flexibility on the issue has yet to be tested.

Of similar concern is the number of obese Americans in possession of guns, a statistic that might complicate implementation of the policy. LaPierre has suggested giving hunters an advantage via a return to the NRA’s original core endeavor, training Americans in marksmanship and the proper use of firearms, with emphasis on tactics that require mobility and a capacity to hide behind objects smaller than a standard golf cart.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did not return several phone calls requesting comment.

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Written by Thag

January 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Dr. NRA: AIDS Isn’t the Problem; It’s When AIDS Infects People that We Have A Problem

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Dr. NRA: AIDS Isn't the Problem; It's When AIDS Infects People that We Have A Problem

Written by Thag

December 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

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GOP: Death Penalty Would Have Deterred Murder-Suicde

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BoehnerNewtown, Connecticut (AP) – In the aftermath of the shooting deaths of dozens of Connecticut schoolchildren and teachers in a murder-suicide, the Republican National Committee issued a statement today touting the death penalty as an important measure in preventing massacres of this nature. Republican Congressional leaders also spoke out in favor of tougher penalties against the perpetrators of murder-suicides.

“Some very disturbed people can only be deterred by harsh consequences,” said House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). “It is imperative that American states adopt capital punishment for brutal crimes such as this. For some criminals, only by making them pay the ultimate price can we prevent other would-be mass murderers from committing mass murder and then suicide.” He noted that Connecticut abolished its death penalty in April of this year.

McConnellSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) echoed the theme. “The vast majority of Americans are law-abiding people, respectful of the law and of others,” he said at a press conference. “The overwhelming majority of us do not need penalties of any sort to get us to do the right thing. But a few individuals lack, unfortunately, that respect, and the only thing that can deter them from killing other people and themselves is the knowledge that they face the death penalty if they act on those brutal impulses.”

The Connecticut legislature passed the repeal of the state’s death penalty on April 11, and Governor Dannel Malloy signed the bill into law two weeks later. The law does not apply retroactively to the ten people currently on Connecticut’s death row.

RellFormer Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell lamented the repeal of the death penalty. “My administration specifically vetoed the abolition of capital punishment in Connecticut,” she said, referring to her action of May 2009, after the legislature passed a similar measure. “It was exactly this kind of horror I had in mind when I did so. I share the pain and anger of the people of Newtown,” she continued. “We now know all too well what happens when governments refuse to use the death penalty as a deterrent to murder-suicides.”

Rell cited statistics to support her argument, noting that not a single murder-suicide criminal in any state with the death penalty has ever murdered again. Moreover, she pointed out, the criminals in question never again committed any crime at all. “I don’t see how anyone can argue that the death penalty would not be effective under these circumstances, when the facts speak for themselves,” she said. “Life in prison – even without parole – still leaves a criminal with the opportunity to commit more crimes, especially in the event of an escape. These are some of the most dangerous people on the planet, with a reputation to prove it.”

“It’s too late to save the children of Newtown,” said Rell, “but I pray that Connecticut, along with the other sixteen states without a death penalty, reexamines its coddling of the perpetrators of murder-suicides. Then maybe, once again, these monsters can be prevented from taking others’ lives – and their own.”

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Written by Thag

December 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm