New American Dark Ages

Apr 152015

The True Cost of Gun Violence in America | Mother Jones by Mark Follman, Senior Editor, et al.

gun violence costs charts

Jennifer Longdon was one of at least 750,000 Americans injured by gunshots over the last decade, and she was lucky not to be one of the more than 320,000 killed. Each year more than 11,000 people are murdered with a firearm, and more than 20,000 others commit suicide using one. Hundreds of children die annually in gun homicides, and each week seems to bring news of another toddler accidentally shooting himself or a sibling with an unsecured gun. And perhaps most disturbingly, even as violent crime overall has declined steadily in recent years, rates of gun injury and death are climbing (up 11 and 4 percent since 2011) and mass shootings have been on the rise.

Yet, there is no definitive assessment of the costs for victims, their families, their employers, and the rest of us—including the major sums associated with criminal justice, long-term health care, and security and prevention. Our media is saturated with gun carnage practically 24/7. So why is the question of what we all pay for it barely part of the conversation?

The True Cost of Gun Violence in America | Mother Jones

Because the Gun Industry and its proxies, the Gun-nuts, shout it down and shoot it down.

 Posted by at 6:27 pm on Wed 04/15/15
Apr 132015

Gun nuts note: You won. You’re wacky interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is the law. Just try to control your weapons, OK?

Will the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Ever Stop Lying? – The Daily Beast by Dean Obeidallah

In 2008, the NRA honcho said Obama was going to confiscate guns. Now, Hillary wants to. The lies will never end.

“They are coming to take your guns away!” That was the message from this past weekend’s annual NRA Convention. In fact, it’s the same message we have heard for years from the NRA. And just as it has been in the past, as it was this weekend, that message is a lie.

Will the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Ever Stop Lying? – The Daily Beast

 Posted by at 10:18 am on Mon 04/13/15
Apr 132015

Gun owners face much higher murder risks, researchers said. Then the NRA silenced them. Amber Hall, The Takeaway

Back in the early 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control provided funding for studies on gun violence. The NRA was not pleased.

“[Our research] underwent peer review and was thought to be very solid and worthwhile research,” says Dr. Fred Rivara, who was part of the team that researched gun violence. “The CDC stood by our research — they had funded it and they stood by it. Unfortunately, it raised the attention of the National Rifle Association, who then worked with pro-gun members of Congress to essentially stop funding firearm research.” …

And that wasn’t all. “More importantly, however, was that they put a clause for the appropriations of the CDC that essentially blocked all gun research for the next two decades,” Rivara says.

The CDC budget cuts all but ended federal gun research.

Gun owners face much higher murder risks, researchers said. Then the NRA silenced them.

 Posted by at 9:08 am on Mon 04/13/15
Apr 102015

I know decent people own guns – some of them are my friends. But the NRA is an industry organization and the Gun Industry, like all of AmeriCo, puts profits ahead of EVERYTHING. The Gun Industry grows rich and fat on blood and death and hides behind the flag and the 2nd Amendment.

You want to hunt? Hunt. You need a gun to feel safe? You have my sympathy but go ahead and hope it isn’t used to kill you or someone you love. You need armor-piercing ammo, an elephant gun, one hundred guns, laser-sighting, ad nauseum, you’re sick and a patsy of the Gun Industry which will feed your emptiness until you die. You sell guns and ammo: you sell death and destruction. Nothing noble about it.

NRA members size up Republican hopefuls

More than 3,000 NRA members on Friday heard from a slate of the Republican Party’s most likely candidates at the NRA’s annual meeting at Music City Center in Nashville. …

At 10-minutes a speech, attendees heard abbreviated stump speeches from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and billionaire businessman Donald Trump, among others. …

“They were very good at saying what we wanted to hear, but really not strong on details,” said Morrow, a registered dietitian. “They’re talking about what’s wrong with government, but not talking about what they were doing to fix it.” [mjh: Which is nothing at all.]

NRA members size up Republican hopefuls

The Very First Thing Gov. Scott Walker Did Before Delivering Big Speech at NRA’s Annual Meeting | Video |

Walker, a possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate, then touted his A+ NRA rating, calling it a “badge of honor” even if the left considers it a “Scarlet Letter.”

The Very First Thing Gov. Scott Walker Did Before Delivering Big Speech at NRA’s Annual Meeting | Video |

Ted Cruz to NRA: I’ve fought the conservative battles

Cruz, a first-term senator and a Tea Party favorite, boasted about the Senate’s defeat of several gun restrictions in recent years.

Ted Cruz to NRA: I’ve fought the conservative battles

 Posted by at 8:19 pm on Fri 04/10/15
Apr 012015

Republicans have a gun to their head and are saying “do what we say or we’ll shoot.” Let ‘em. The not-so-GOP is torn between two masters: the business people who shop for candidates and the base, which votes for loons. Not a strong position going into 2016. However, never underestimate money or lunacy.

Indiana debate exposes Republican divisions | Albuquerque Journal News By Steve Peoples / Associated Press

It is a debate many Republicans hoped to avoid.

But as the backlash intensifies over a so-called religious freedom law in Indiana, the GOP’s leading White House contenders have been drawn into a messy clash that highlights the party’s strong opposition to same-sex marriage and threatens to inject social issues into the early stages of the 2016 presidential primary season.

The debate has also energized Democrats nationwide while exposing sharp divisions between Republicans and local business leaders who oppose a law that critics say allows business owners to deny services to same-sex couples on religious grounds. …

Polling suggests a majority of the American electorate supports gay marriage, but the most conservative Republicans do not.

“It’s a total head-scratcher,” former Illinois Republican chairman Pat Brady said of the GOP presidential hopefuls who defended the law. “We’re trying to attract voters and win elections. We can’t scare people away.”

Yet the Republican 2016 presidential class overwhelmingly defended the new law, breaking with local business leaders in favor of conservatives across the country who cheered such laws as a necessary response to overreach by the Obama administration.

“I think Gov. Pence has done the right thing,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in a Monday radio interview. He said the law was “simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday tweeted: “I stand with” Pence, and “Religious freedom is worth protecting.”

“We must stand with those who stand up for religious freedoms,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who announced his GOP presidential campaign last week, said the Indiana governor was “holding the line to protect religious liberty” in his state.

Some economic-minded Republicans saw it another way. …

Democrats were united in their opposition to the law.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, expected to launch her Democratic presidential campaign in the coming weeks, tweeted last week, “Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today.”

Indiana debate exposes Republican divisions | Albuquerque Journal News

Q&A: The debate over the religious freedom law | Albuquerque Journal News By Michael Doyle / Mcclatchy Washington Bureau

Q: Where did the Religious Freedom Restoration Act come from?

A: Peyote, in part. In the 1980s, two Oregon men were fired from their jobs with a private drug organization because they ingested peyote as part of their sacred obligations as members of the Native American Church. The state denied them unemployment benefits on the grounds they had been fired for misconduct.

The Supreme Court, in a 1990 decision authored by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, declared that the First Amendment’s religious protections don’t override “the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability.” As long as a law doesn’t explicitly favor or target religion, Scalia reasoned, it can be enforced even if it burdens someone’s religious practice.

Congress responded in 1993 by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. States began passing their own versions after the high court clarified in 1997 that the federal law did not apply to them.

Q&A: The debate over the religious freedom law | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 2:33 pm on Wed 04/01/15
Nov 262014

Cognitive dissonance: believing government is always wrong but cops and grand juries never are.
Injustice: ignoring Wall Street thieves while shooting shoplifters.

Regarding police violence against the public they serve: I’m starting to wonder if we’re not reaping the harvest of the same seeds being sown in education, the election process, and elsewhere: The goal is to undermine the public’s confidence in the every facet of government, public systems, and the common good. Why? Aside from pure evil, look for who profits. Who profits when we arm and train cops like soldiers? Who profits when we say we can’t adequately patrol the streets? Who profits when we dismantle public education?

Who profits from privatizing everything? Who profits from your fear and your anger? Who profits from a divided nation full of angry and mistrustful citizens? The Profiteers are pulling our strings.

 Posted by at 2:30 pm on Wed 11/26/14
Nov 062014

Interesting take from overseas. Read it all at the link.

US midterms: ‘Republicans didn’t win as big as you think they did’ by Gary Younge of the Irish Times

According to a CNN exit poll , eight in 10 Americans disapprove of how Congress has been handling its job, while almost six in 10 are displeased with Obama.

A full 44 per cent have a positive view of Democrats; 40 per cent have a positive view of Republicans. Americans have just elected the party they like the least to run the government body they least trust. Even greater cynicism is the most likely outcome.

US midterms: ‘Republicans didn’t win as big as you think they did’

[hat tip to Pat Lyford]

 Posted by at 2:10 pm on Thu 11/06/14