Guns aren’t about freedom, they’re about profiting from fear and violence

Money is made selling guns and ammo without any concerns about the effects after sale. Buyers don’t need to know shit about handling weapons or to give a damn about safety. (Mind you, I know there are many decent, responsible gun owners. What the hell are they doing about the lunatics? Nothing.)

Sex, guns and ammo: inside the world’s largest gun industry trade fair

Guns are a big business, and the industry is raking in record sales and profits as people rush out to arm themselves following a series of mass shootings and out of fear of increased gun control legislation.

Mass shootings and gun sales.
© Provided by Guardian News Mass shootings and gun sales.

While agents struggle to keep pace with demand, gun manufacturers are celebrating record sales. Smith & Wesson, America’s biggest gun company with a market value of $1.1bn, has raised its sales and profits targets and told investors that some distributors are beginning to run out of some of its most popular guns.

Smith & Wesson, which makes 90% of its money selling guns to consumers, expects annual revenues to total $650m to $660m in the year to the end of April, up from the $627m it made the previous year and 57% more than it made in 2012. Smith & Wesson is run by British chief executive James Debney.

The US’s other big-listed gun company Sturm, Ruger & Company has seen its shares rise 44% over the past year. Over the same period, the Dow Jones industrial average index of the nation’s biggest stocks has fallen by 10%.

The other big US player in guns is Remington Outdoor (formerly Freedom Group), which is owned by billionaire Stephen Feinberg’s private equity group Cerberus Capital Management. Remington, which manufactured the Bushmaster XM15-E2S semiautomatic rifle used in the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, made $939m in guns and ammunition sales in 2014, its latest year available. Cerebus had vowed to sell Freedom after the Sandy Hook tragedy but still owns the company and with it Bushmaster and DPMS/Panther, the biggest players in military-style assault rifles.

Jurgen Brauer, an economics professor who specialises in the gun industry, said: “Whenever there is even talk about firearms regulators there is almost immediately an unmistakable increase in sales. Even talk about such legislation translates into sales jumps.” …

“People are buying guns as part of the American dream of freedom and liberty,” said Brauer, who is based at the Hull College of Business at Augusta University. “And also, the hope and the dream of being able to use guns in self-defence.”

People very rarely get to live out that dream, with FBI data showing that gun owners are 78 times more likely to kill themselves than they are to carry out a “justifiable homicide”, which the agency describes as “the killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen”. …

The nation’s biggest firearms seller Walmart, which has guns for sale at about half of its 4,500 stores, refuses to provide gun sales data, but Freedom Group told investors that 9% of all its sales are “made to one customer, Walmart.” Ruttenbur reckons Walmart together with Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabela’s account for 20% of the market.

Sex, guns and ammo: inside the world’s largest gun industry trade fair

Boycott Wal-Mart for a million reasons, including their bleeding  employees while sitting pretty among the richest people in the entire world.

The Supreme Court is the single most important reason to elect a Democrat president

The Supreme Court appointed DUHbya president. The decision was made by “justices” nominated by Republicans. We know Scalia is an absolute mad-dog and Thomas is his shadow. More Republican nominees joined the Supreme Court and they gave us Rich Bastards In Power (aka “Citizens” United). That was a hand grenade tossed into the lap of democracy. We cannot afford another — let alone 3 or 4 — conservative justice to piss on democracy for another generation. We MUST elect a Democrat president. We MUST increase our positions in both houses of Congress. WE MUST.

On this issue, I trust Hillary and Bernie equally. Hillary might be more judicious in her nominee, Bernie might have a better chance of success. I love the notion of nominating Obama.

Why Bernie Sanders’ Misinformed Supreme Court Tweet Matters | ThinkProgress

As a practical matter, any Democrat who wins the presidency in 2016 is unlikely to accomplish much in the legislature. A combination of gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, built in geographic advantages for Republicans and similar factors will make it extraordinarily difficult for Democrats to retake a majority in the House even if they win the White House. Indeed, in 2012, President Obama won the national popular vote by nearly 4 points, Democratic House candidates received nearly 1.4 million more votes than Republican candidates, yet Republicans began the 113th Congress with a 33 seat advantage in the House.

Yet, while control of the House of Representatives is unlikely to change in the 2016 election, control of the Supreme Court very well could be decided this November. When the next president takes office, three justices will be over 80 years-old, and Justice Stephen Breyer will be not that far behind at 78. Notably, two of the octogenarian justices, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy, are Republicans that could potentially be replaced by a President Sanders.

Given the sheer number of vacancies likely to emerge in the next presidential term and the unlikeliness that at major legislation will move forward, the next president’s Supreme Court appointments will likely be their most important legacy — especially if that president replaces a justice appointed by a member of the other political party.

Why Bernie Sanders’ Misinformed Supreme Court Tweet Matters | ThinkProgress

Bernie Sanders doesn’t say he can change everything, he says together we can start to change everything

I’m not an idealist or a zealot. I’ve share the frustrations of the last 8 years. We elected a smart, skilled, talented, charming African-American president in what looked like a revolutionary reaction to the dimwit DUHbya and his corrupt cronies. Having lost, they fought tooth and nail no matter how racist or foolish it appeared. Won’t Hillary or Bernie face the same stiff opposition. Sure. Does that mean we give up and vote for Trumpfft? SHIT NO. Bernie isn’t the beginning or end of a revolution. Instead, he could be a key step in a long series. So could Hillary. We know the Republicans will remain a goose-step backwards until they kill themselves. Why not push the pendulum, bend the reed, reach farther than you can grasp at the moment.

Bernie Sanders and the Realists – The New Yorker By John Cassidy

Sanders, as I understand him, isn’t claiming that his ambitious and costly program is realistic in today’s Washington. To the contrary, he says that the political system is so broken, and so in hock to big money, that it is virtually impossible to effect nearly any substantive progressive change. The only way to make big changes, Sanders argues, is to create a mass movement that faces down corporate interests and their quislings. Once this movement materializes, all sorts of things that now seem out of the question—such as true universal health care, free college tuition, and a much more progressive tax system—will become possible.

This, surely, is what Sanders means by the term “political revolution,” which he uses all the time. …

Sanders was careful to place his policy goals in the context of his larger narrative:

That’s what our campaign is about. It is thinking big. It is understanding that in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, we should have health care for every man, woman, and child as a right, that we should raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, that we have got to create millions of decent-paying jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. So, what my first days are about is bringing America together, to end the decline of the middle class, to tell the wealthiest people in this country that yes, they are going to start paying their fair share of taxes, and that we are going to have a government that works for all of us, and not just big campaign contributors. …

Of course, that goes back to the argument about realism, and the point that Sanders’s main goal is changing what it is considered possible. A more orthodox candidate might well indicate some flexibility at this point in his campaign, saying that his immediate priority as President would be raising the minimum wage, or providing free college tuition, or breaking up the banks, and relegating an ambitious health-care overhaul to the status of future goal. Sanders, however, didn’t get to where he is now by embracing political orthodoxy. He seems unlikely to change tack.

Bernie Sanders and the Realists – The New Yorker

A modest proposal: Send in the clowns

Let’s send busloads of clowns in full makeup to the entrance of the NWR in Oregon. Each clown will carry a large flaccid phallus and a sign that reads “It’s like looking in a mirror.” Loudspeakers should blare the most obnoxious laugh-track we can find. 

Arrest The Bundy Terrorists

Novelist Obliterates The Bundy Militia — And Oregon’s Largest Newspaper — In 194 Words | ThinkProgress

The Oregonian’s A1 headline on Sunday, Jan. 17, “Effort to free federal lands,” is inaccurate and irresponsible. The article that follows it is a mere mouthpiece for the scofflaws illegally occupying public buildings and land, repeating their lies and distortions of history and law.

Ammon Bundy and his bullyboys aren’t trying to free federal lands, but to hold them hostage. I can’t go to the Malheur refuge now, though as a citizen of the United States, I own it and have the freedom of it. That’s what public land is: land that belongs to the public — me, you, every law-abiding American. The people it doesn’t belong to and who don’t belong there are those who grabbed it by force of arms, flaunting their contempt for the local citizens.

Those citizens of Harney County have carefully hammered out agreements to manage the refuge in the best interest of landowners, scientists, visitors, tourists, livestock and wildlife. They’re suffering more every day, economically and otherwise, from this invasion by outsiders.

Instead of parroting the meaningless rants of a flock of Right-Winged Loonybirds infesting the refuge, why doesn’t The Oregonian talk to the people who live there?

Ursula K. Le Guin

Northwest Portland

Novelist Obliterates The Bundy Militia — And Oregon’s Largest Newspaper — In 194 Words | ThinkProgress

NM’s love affair with guns – ABQJournal Online

We “love” guns in NM. We have lots of guns in NM. Lots of injuries and death by guns. Lots of violence and fear due to guns. More guns. More guns! More guns!!! There is nothing we can do about gun violence except buy a guy and celebrate your freedom. 

NM’s love affair with guns – ABQJournal Online

By Colleen Heild / Journal Investigative Reporter
Monday, January 18th, 2016 at 12:05am

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico loves its guns.

Nearly 50 percent of New Mexicans have a gun in the home, according to a 2013 survey by public health researchers from Columbia University and Boston University. The national gun ownership rate was 29 percent.

As for ownership of federally registered firearms, such as machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles, New Mexico ranked fourth per capita in the United States in 2013, according to Bloomberg News. …

And it is one of the most dangerous states in the country for gun violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The state in 2014 had the eighth highest rate of firearms deaths in the United States, considering suicide, homicide and accidental deaths caused by guns. That ranking was up from ninth place a year earlier.

Over the past five years, the number of visits to New Mexico emergency rooms for firearm injuries increased 65 percent, according to New Mexico Department of Health.

a01_jd_18jan_guns-Map-fixed

High violence rates

Federal data shows New Mexico’s overall firearm injury death rate is more than 1.5 times the U.S. rate. Moreover, the state was deemed the second most dangerous in the country by USA Today, based on violent crimes committed per 100,000 people. …

Department of Health data shows that nearly 70 percent of firearms injury deaths in New Mexico from 2009 to 2013 were due to self-inflicted gunshots. About 27 percent died from intentional injury or homicide. Less than 1 percent of firearm deaths were accidental.

Meanwhile, New Mexico emergency department visits involving firearm injuries increased dramatically from 2010 to 2014.

The largest increase involved firearm injuries caused by assaults, which increased by about 53 percent, said Dr. Tierney Murphy with the state DOH. Accidental or unintentional firearm visits increased by 34 percent, and self-inflicted firearm injuries jumped 20 percent over the five-year period.

“When you look at the emergency department visits for firearm related injuries, it primarily affects males,” Murphy said, noting that 86 percent of the visits involved male patients. “The highest rate was among young males (age) 15 to 24.”

NM’s love affair with guns – ABQJournal Online

Report: NM fourth-most dangerous state in the U.S. | The NM Political Report

New Mexico is once again the fourth-most dangerous state in the country, at least according to the latest yearly survey of violent crime by 24/7 Wall Street.

The annual survey from the financial news website is based mainly from violent crime rates from the FBI 2014 Uniform Crime Report, which is the most comprehensive look at crime in the nation. …

New Mexico’s violent crime rate ranked at 597.4 incidents for every 100,000 residents. That’s more than one-and-a-half times the national rate of 366 incidents per every 100,000 people.

The report notes that immigrants and Hispanics will feel the brunt of the crimes more than other groups because of high poverty rates in those communities and the link between poverty and crime. New Mexico is home to the second-highest poverty rate in the nation.

Aggravated assault is the most frequent violent crime in New Mexico, according to the report, which happened to an average of 422 of every 100,000 people.

New Mexico has the second-highest rate of incidents in the country with 3,542 such incidents for every 100,000 people.

New Mexico previously ranked fourth and second on the same survey from 2013 and 2012, respectively. The financial news website also ranked New Mexico high on another unflattering list—as the worst-run state in the U.S.

Report: NM fourth-most dangerous state in the U.S. | The NM Political Report

Celebrate MLK Day by watching armed angry white men scream about “taking back Amerikkka” (from those dark folks, liberals, and queers)

A bunch of armed white thugs have taken over public land — stolen that land from you and me. They wave their weapons at anyone who dares to approach our public land. As they fester in their rathole, they draw more and more sick whackos to their pit. This is Amerikkka. You’ll only take Amerikkka from their cold dead hands.

It is a stark reminder of “white privilege” (white power?) that armed white terrorists get away with something we all know would be over if they were non-white. A white guy with a gun can steal from everyone but a black kid with a hoodie would be dead.

Happy Martin Luther King Day. He was killed by an armed white lunatic just like these pompous self-important thugs. As was JFK and others. Peace.

(I’m still waiting for the NRA, one responsible gun owner, or a single Mormon to condemn these criminals.)