Category Archives: gun violence

Congratulations, Roy Clyde! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

Wyoming parks employee who said he was “tired of cleaning up after the homeless” decided to do the responsible thing: he took his gun and opened fire on an alcohol detox facility. Hey, whateves, made sense to him:

RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) – A Wyoming man accused of opening fire at an alcohol detoxification center, killing one man and wounding another, is a parks employee who said he targeted the facility because he was tired of cleaning up after the homeless population, police said Monday.

[…]

Murphy said Clyde told investigators that homeless people were using city parks as a sewer. “And basically he was angry at that, and that’s what precipitated him to go and do this violent act,” Murphy said.

“It was strictly homeless people,” he said. “He was angry about the homeless population.”

Murphy said there has been public concern about the homeless situation in Riverton.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that we have an intoxication problem, and a homeless problem,” he said. “It’s been brought up in several open meetings, public meetings.”

So you open fire on the facility that is getting people sober so they won’t be homeless? Just another responsible gun owner doing his duty, I guess.

Slow clap, Murrica.

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Isn’t It Ironic?

[UPDATE]:

That didn’t take long:

Man accidentally shoots self at military recruiting office

GAINESVILLE, GA (CBS46) – A Navy recruiter is recovering in the hospital after accidentally shooting himself with his personal weapon that he brought to work Friday morning.

Gainsville Police said he accidentally shot himself in the upper thigh. No one else was injured.

The incident happened at a military recruiting office on Dawsonville Highway.

In guns=everywhere Georgia, one of our safest, most responsible citizens evah decides to ignore the ban, and the predictable happens. Not even 24 hours after the shootings in Chattanooga, too.

So very predictable.

Hey, assholes: more guns is not the answer!
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Isn’t it ironic that on the very same day a jury found James Holmes guilty of murder in the Aurora, CO mass shooting, Dylann Roof had his preliminary hearing in the Charleston mass shooting? And on that very same day we had yet another mass shooting?

Ironic? Umm, actually, no. Just simple arithmetic. That’s how many mass shootings we have in America these days.

We’ve got a problem. What are we going to do about it?

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Close The Loophole

Now that we’ve removed the Confederate flag from everything from the South Carolina state capitol to Disney World to the Warner Bros. gift shop — and trust me, I’m all in favor of that, don’t get me wrong — but now that we’ve done the comparatively easy thing, can we close the damn loopholes that allow these kinds of tragedies to happen in the first place?

Background Check Flaw Let Dylann Roof Buy Gun, F.B.I. Says

[…]

According to Mr. Comey, Mr. Roof first tried to buy the gun on April 11 from a dealer in West Columbia, S.C. The F.B.I., which operates the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, received a call from the dealer, seeking approval to sell Mr. Roof the weapon. The F.B.I. did not give the dealer the authority to proceed with the purchase because the bureau said it needed to do more investigating of Mr. Roof’s criminal history, which showed he had recently been arrested.

Under federal law, the F.B.I. has three business days to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to deny a purchase. If the bureau cannot come up with an answer, the purchaser can return to the dealer on the fourth day and buy the gun.

Many major gun retailers, like Walmart, will not sell a weapon if they do not have an answer from the F.B.I., because of the fear of public criticism if the gun is used in a crime. The marginal sale of one gun means little to the bottom line of a large dealer, which is not the case for smaller stores like the one that sold Mr. Roof his gun.

Two days after Mr. Roof tried to buy the weapon, an examiner at the F.B.I.’s national background check center in Clarksburg, W.Va., began investigating his criminal history. The examiner found that Mr. Roof had been arrested this year on a felony drug charge, but not convicted. The charge alone would not have prevented him from buying the gun under federal law. But evidence that Mr. Roof had been convicted of a felony or was a drug addict would have resulted in a denial, so she continued to investigate his background.

Because Mr. Roof had been arrested in a small part of Columbia that is in Lexington County and not in Richland County, where most of the city is, the examiner was confused about which police department to call. She ultimately did not find the right department and failed to obtain the police report. Had the examiner gained access to the police report, she would have seen that Mr. Roof had admitted to having been in possession of a controlled substance and she would have issued a denial.

The examiner, however, did send a request to the Lexington County prosecutor’s office, which had charged him, inquiring about the case. The prosecutor’s office, however, did not respond.

Around that time the three-day waiting period expired, and Mr. Roof returned to the store and purchased the gun.

And nine people are dead as a result. Some history on the three-day waiting period:

Due to a National Rifle Association-backed amendment to the 1994 Brady Bill, federal law allows sales to proceed once three business days have elapsed.

Since 1994, federal law has required that licensed gun dealers run background checks on all gun buyers. Since 1998, this check has been run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), a series of electronic databases operated by the FBI.

When a dealer runs a check on a potential buyer, he contacts either the FBI or, in some states, a state “point-of-contact”, either by phone or electronically. Operators enter the person’s name into the NICS system and review the person’s criminal records to determine if the person is prohibited from possessing or purchasing guns.

In the vast majority of cases, operators instruct the dealer within minutes that the sale may proceed (a “green light”) or that the sale is denied (a “red light”).

Since its inception, the background check system has blocked more than 2.4 million gun sales to criminals and other dangerous people.

In a small minority of cases (approximately 9 percent in 2014), operators cannot determine from the available records whether the purchaser is prohibited, and will inform the dealer that the background check is in “delay” status (a “yellow light”). Operators will then pursue further records in order to make a determination, including by contacting courts, prosecutors, and law enforcement.

Operators will continue to research the case until a definitive conclusion is made—but federal law allows the dealer to proceed with the sale after three business days, regardless of whether the investigation is complete.

This is what’s called “default proceed” and I can think of nothing that makes less sense. When dealing with deadly weapons and instruments of mass murder, your default position should not be to “proceed.” Your default position should be to deny.

The gun laws in this country are fucking stupid.

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Summer In Tennessee: An Abbreviated Gun Report

I’m sorry I don’t have time to keep the gun report going but we did have two accidental shootings (at least) reported this week.

First, I want to call everyone’s attention to the excellent HBO documentary, Requiem For The Dead: American Spring 2014. I hadn’t heard anything about this documentary at all, and just stumbled across it while channel surfing last night. I found it riveting and tragic and enlightening — even for me, who considers herself rather well-informed on the issue of gun violence.

The first thing you notice is how young the victims are. Many of them young teens — people with their entire futures ahead of them. The second thing you notice is how random and how senseless it all is. Gun victims are of all colors and ethnicities, it’s not something that happens “in that neighborhood” or “to those people.”

Give it a look-see, maybe consider having a viewing party. These peoples’ stories deserve to be shared.

Without further ado:

• June 25, 2015:

1- A 13-year-old Roan Mountain boy accidentally shot himself in the leg:

Lacy said her son had been in his brother’s bedroom at 246 Ingram Branch Roan on Tuesday. She said her son noticed a .38-caliber revolver and thought it was a toy gun. The boy pulled the trigger on the gun, shooting himself in the right calf.

2- Guns and ammo stolen from a home in Greenville. I guess locking this shit in a safe is too hard for y’all to manage. FAIL.

• June 24, 2015:

This kind of incident normally wouldn’t make the Gun Report but it happened literally one block from my house, at a time when I’m ordinarily walking the dog while Mr. Beale does the dinner dishes:

At about 7 p.m., the woman was walking to her vehicle in the 1600 block of Woodmont Boulevard when a suspect approached her with a handgun, took her purse off her shoulder and ran away, said Metro police Capt. Michael Alexander.

So here’s a question: I know the pro-gun crowd thinks everyone should be carrying to prevent such a thing from happening, but if the victim had a gun in her purse, what good would it have done? In fact, it just would have given the thief a second gun! Unless we’re all supposed to be walking around with guns in our hands, like cops on TV or something. Stupid.

• June 23, 2015:

An East Knoxville woman was accidentally shot in the hand and leg at a barbecue when another guest was showing a friend his gun.

• June 19, 2015:

1- Clarksville police say they are seeing more guns and more fights turning deadly due to guns. Gee, I wonder why. Thinking ….

More people are now carrying loaded guns in their vehicles, and legally. Despite what many people believe, a law passed in Tennessee last year allows anyone who can legally own a gun to carry loaded weapons in their vehicles.

That can be in a seat, glove box or under a seat. So long as the person is not a felon or otherwise restricted from owning firearms, there’s nothing to stop someone from having a loaded handgun, shotgun or rifle within reach, said Capt. Craig Gipson, who oversees the Clarksville Police Department’s Special Operations Unit.

Before the state legislature changed the law last year, only people with state-issued handgun carry permits could legally keep loaded guns in their vehicles. Anyone without a permit could keep guns only if unloaded with the ammunition stored separately.

“We just see more on the street than ever before,” said Clarksville Police Chief Al Ansley.

And it’s not just in cars. Police are seeing more guns being drawn and fired during fights.

Ansley said the presence of more guns can quickly escalate an argument or scuffle into something far more dangerous.

“We have seen a lot of guns and weapons,” he said. “Especially compared to 10 or 15 years ago.”

Wow, I thought more guns was supposed to make us safer? Guess not!

2- In Memphis, a woman says her next-door neighbor pulled a gun on her and her 7-year-old daughter over a parking space. Armed/polite, yada yada.

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What We Don’t Know Is Hurting Us

So, this just happened today:

A GOP-led panel blocked a proposal Wednesday that would have reversed a nearly 20-year-old ban on funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to research on gun violence.

The House Appropriations Committee voted 32-19 against ranking member Rep. Nita Lowey’s (D-N.Y.) amendment to a bill that would fund health, education and labor programs in the next fiscal year.

Wonder what they’re afraid of. The truth, perhaps? That they’ve been spreading bullshit NRA propaganda? Probably. See my May 27 post, The Last Time Science Looked At Gun Violence. I think it’s pretty crystal clear what they’re afraid of.

Well, we all know who owns the Republican Party now.

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How Other Countries Do It

Australia responded to the brutal Port Arthur massacre where 35 people were mowed down by enacting strict gun control laws accompanied by a mandatory buyback program. That was in 1996.

Australians still have guns — they hunt, and yes they have hunting accidents and they have gun cleaning accidents. And they have gun smuggling — and let me note without irony that a lot of those illegal weapons come from right here in the USA and right here in Nashville, even.

What they don’t have are mass shootings. There hasn’t been one in 20 years. During that same time America has had dozens of mass shootings.

Here’s what’s interesting about Australia’s gun control legislation and buyback program: it not only led to a decrease in the gun homicide rate, it led to a huge drop in firearm suicides:

So what have the Australian laws actually done for homicide and suicide rates? Howard cited a study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University finding that the firearm homicide rate fell by 59 percent, and the firearm suicide rate fell by 65 percent, in the decade after the law was introduced, without a parallel increase in non-firearm homicides and suicides. That provided strong circumstantial evidence for the law’s effectiveness.

The paper also estimated that buying back 3,500 guns per 100,000 people resulted in a 35 to 50 percent decline in the homicide rate, but because of the low number of homicides in Australia normally, this finding wasn’t statistically significant.

What is significant is the decline the laws caused in the firearm suicide rate, which Leigh and Neill estimate at a 74 percent reduction for a buyback of that size. This is even higher than the overall decline in the suicide rate, because the gun buybacks’ speed varied from state to state. In states with quick buybacks, the fall in the suicide rate far exceeded the fall in states with slower buybacks.

The experience of other countries proves that gun control, not more guns, makes us safer. We can look at the facts, or we can continue to froth and foam at the mouth and repeat NRA bumper sticker slogans. I’m not a robot, and all the trolls repeating “universal background checks wouldn’t have prevented this universal background checks wouldn’t have prevented this universal background checks wouldn’t have prevented this” ad nauseum are simply making the argument that we need much stronger gun control laws than the weak compromises our side keeps offering. And as Australia proves, no law will stop every gun tragedy but I’ll take zero gun massacres over three dozen any day. Finally, with the USA being a source of the world’s illegal guns, stricter gun control wouldn’t just make Americans safer, it would make the world safer.

Which makes gun manufacturers very, very scared. That is the absolute last thing they want. But when your profit margin depends on global murder and mayhem, you’ve lost the moral argument.

I’ll close with this video, which I’ve posted several times before, but I can never see it too often. Australian comedian Jim Jeffries’ take on gun control is a classic that should be mandatory viewing. Lots of F-bombs so if you’re at work, maybe pop in the earbuds:

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Oh, Snap

I know nobody says “Oh, snap” anymore but it seemed an appropriate retort to The Economist’s take on America’s latest mass shooting:

Those who live in America, or visit it, might do best to regard them the way one regards air pollution in China: an endemic local health hazard which, for deep-rooted cultural, social, economic and political reasons, the country is incapable of addressing. This may, however, be a bit unfair. China seems to be making progress on pollution.

Cold, but true. The rest of the world no longer feels sorry for us, and can you blame them?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: unless and until there are economic repercussions for our gun lunacy, things are unlikely to change.

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