Nel's New Day

March 14, 2018

Students Protest for Gun Safety, Get No Help for Legislators

Tens of thousands of young people walked out of over 3,000 schools for 17 minutes between 10:00 and 10:17 am today to protest the lack of safety in public schools and mourn those lost in the most recent massacre from high-powered guns at a school. One month ago today—28 days—17 people were killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland (FL). Some students either didn’t go to school today or were on lockdown because of threats of violence. Other schools locked school doors or threatened long suspensions to keep students from leaving for 17 minutes. ACLU cautioned that the First Amendment prevents more stringent punishments for protests. that a punishment cannot be more for First Amendment rights than general rules. Many enlightened districts, like my small one on the Oregon coast, supported the students’ protest rights.

Florida GOP legislators initially denigrated the young people who begged them for gun safety laws, but some Republican legislators in Florida condescended to pass a new law, recently signed by GOP Gov. Rick Scott.

The first Florida gun safety law in 20 years provides $400 million for greater school safety, help with mental health, and gun training for teachers who are not limited to classroom duties; a ban on bump stocks that allow semiautomatic weapons to fire like fully automatic firearms; permission to remove guns and ammunition with court orders; a three-day waiting period for purchases of long guns; and prohibition of gun sales to anyone under 21 except for law enforcement or correctional officers or military members.

The governor objected to the waiting period and arming teachers but still signed it. The NRA immediately filed a lawsuit against Florida for discrimination because no one under 21 can buy guns.

Several Democrats voted against the bill because it puts more guns in schools by arming teachers. Once again, a teacher, this one in Monterey County (CA) showed the danger when the trained reserve police officer “accidentally” charged his gun during a class on public safety. One student was injured in the neck. The class continued after the incident, and the parents took the student to a hospital after he went home. The teacher said he was pointing the gun at the ceiling to see if his gun wasn’t loaded.

White supremacists, including one middle school social studies teacher in Florida, support recruiting people to take over public schools by become teachers. With the pseudonym of Tiana Dalichov, 25-year-old Dayanna Volitch bragged on a podcast about teaching her students about the myth of different levels of intelligence among races, the importance of “eradication” of all Muslims, and the necessity for “annihilation” of North Korea. She also promotes the conspiracy theory that no one died at the Parkland (FL) school. After Voltich’s suspension from teaching, a large number of “alt-right” women supported her. The new law lets these people have guns in schools.

With every age demographic opposed to arming teachers, peaking at 70 percent opposition among those ages 16-17, the greatest opponents are insurance companies. After a mass shooter massacred children and educators at Sandy Hook (CT), Kansas gave schools the right to concealed-carry, and EMC Insurance Companies, providing coverage to 85 percent of the state’s schools, said they wouldn’t insure schools that permitted employees to carry concealed handguns “to protect the financial security of the company.” Indiana workers’ comp insurers refused to cover school personnel who carried guns on campus. When Oregon considered a similar “guns in schools” initiative, insurance companies promised to surcharge districts for every civilian employee with a firearm in school. The question in Florida is whether they considered this issue when they passed its law arming teachers.

Basically, the new Florida law does what Republicans decry about schools—throw money at them without fixing the problem which is the problem of guns in schools. John Woodrow Cox showed the problem of accessibility to high-powered guns and large capacity magazines in his article about Jesse Osborne, a 14-year-old who killed a six-year old and injured another student and teacher after he had killed his father in their home. Osborne’s hope was to kill as many as 150 people, but he complained that he could get only a .40 caliber pistol. It jammed 12 seconds after he pulled the trigger. Osborne really wanted his father’s the Ruger Mini-14, a semiautomatic rifle like the gun that killed so many people in Parkland. Without that weapon, a firefighter was able to stop him. In court Oborne smiled while prosecutors described his crime. The Florida law won’t teach anyone how to pick out the Jesses from the millions of angry boys and men who love to shoot and succeed in getting guns.

Before the Florida Senate passed the final bill, it banned AR-15s for 15 minutes in an unrecorded voice vote. GOP leadership returned them to their normal state of Florida the “Gunshine State,” and overturned that vote by 21-17. Pro-AR-15 arguments were that AR-15s would protect people from the Nazi Holocaust and that “thoughts and prayers” were more useful than gun bans because people could use explosives to kill people. The Senate kept the AR-15s and then had a moment of silence for the 17 dead people before leaving the chamber.

The Alabama state Senate carried the religious notion event further: it’s “gun-safety” bill authorizes the placement of the Ten Commandments on public property to stop school mass shootings.

Since the Parkland massacre, the media largely ignored an armed school attack in Pennsylvania that left 22 wounded people. The 16-year-old sophomore had no guns—just two large knives. With an AR-15, he could have killed more than the 22 people he wounded. In the two Canadian mass shootings in 2016, a crossbow attack killed three, and a shotgun attacked killed four in two different locations. Yet in another U.S. mass shooting, this one in a Yountville (CA) veterans home, a veteran murdered three women before killing himself. In the first 67 days of 2018, 41 shootings of at least four people have killed at least 72 people. Seven of those shootings were in Florida.

For a month, the GOP Congress dithered about gun safety laws as young people continued to pressure them. Today, the House passed $50 million in unfunded grants for safety protocols and training in schools, ironically called Student, Teacher’s Officer’s Prevention (STOP) School Violence Act. The theory is to provide “tools and training to recognize warning signs to prevent violence.” The House has no plans for any other legislation unless the Senate sends them bills.

To look as if he were concerned about gun violence in schools, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) issued his proposal for gun safety, largely similar to the Florida law and House bill although it added some requirements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in her disastrous 60 Minutes interview that she will be leading DDT’s “blue ribbon” commission on school safety. In addition to training teachers with guns, DDT wants to recruit military veterans and retired law enforcement trained with guns to become teachers, perhaps paying them the bonuses that he offered teachers with guns. Basically, watch people to see if they’re a problem (like white supremacists with guns?) and hire gun experts as teachers while studying programs. What’s missing is even his weak promise of increasing the age limit of purchasing high-powered semi-automatic weapons to 21. DDT is now repeating “The NRA happens to be very good people.”

DDT follows the person he talked with last, and in the case of his “school safety” ideas, he talked with NRA representatives last. “A gun-free zone to a killer or somebody who wants to be a killer, that’s like going in for the ice cream,” DDT said after he met with NRA leaders. The United States has some of those “ice cream” gun-free zones:

  • The White House
  • The Republican National Convention
  •  Mar-a-Lago
  • The U.S. Capitol Building
  • Republican Town Halls
  • NRA Conventions

No one gets shot in these places. In fact, when 80,000 people leave their homes for the annual NRA convention, gun-related injuries drop in the U.S. by 20 percent, according to a new study. In the states hosting the NRA convention, the drop in 37 percent is much more dramatic. Lead author of the study, Harvard Medical School professor Anupam Jena, said the reason is “a brief period of abstinence in gun use” when gun owners are away and their gun ranges or hunting grounds are closed. An Emory University epidemiologist suggested year-long NRA conventions to improve gun safety in the United States. (FYI, Dallas is holding the gun-free NRA convention on May 4-6.)

The most efficient way to pass real gun safety laws, not the laws that have commissions and extra money for training, is to use Black Panthers to patrol schools. It worked 50 years ago when they legally carried their guns onto the floor of the California state legislature. They were disarmed, and state legislators outlawed the public carrying of loaded firearms. Within a year, Congress passed the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, the first federal gun-control law in 30 years, followed by the Gun Control Act of 1968 that amended and enlarged the first law.

April 9, 2015

The One Place Where the NRA Bans Guns

Filed under: Guns — trp2011 @ 8:35 PM
Tags: , , ,

Just when it appeared that the NRA thought no place was off limits to guns, the ammosexuals have one location off limits to guns. The NRA wants guns in churches, elementary schools, bars, libraries, state capitols—you name it, they want it. Where doesn’t Wayne LaPierre’s bunch want guns? The 144th NRA convention!

Located in Nashville (TN) this coming weekend, the annual meeting is expected to have 70,000 people and nine acres—count them, nine acres!—of guns exhibited by 555 people showing off Smith & Wessons, Berettas, Remingtons, etc. The NRA leadership understands how crazy their constituents are: they ordered that exhibitors remove the firing pins from all their guns in these nine acres. But whatever happened to the idea that guns are vital for safety? Somebody could show up on the nine acres with an operational gun and take out all those people standing next to guns with no firing pins.

The same people who fight every background check in the nation directed guns sold during the convention to be picked up at a Federal Firearms License dealer, probably near the buyer’s home. Sales—ready for this?—require a legal identification. This from the group terrified that any background check or identification for gun sales will result in a federal list of gun owners. Whatever happened to the idea that guns are vital for safety? Who will stop the bad guy? And with all those guns being tossed around, how can security identify the “bad guy”?

The NRA is banning guns at its concert to protect country music artist Alan Jackson and comedian Jeff Foxworthy. The rest of the people are expendable, including most of the GOP wannabe presidential candidates: Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Pence (who will wish in vain after the Indiana fiasco), Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham, Sarah Palin, and Donald Trump.  Only Chris Christie and already-declared Rand Paul won’t be there because, as the NRA explained, they couldn’t invite everyone. A disaster could eliminate 85 percent of the 2016 GOP presidential field.

Excited about 70,000 people with guns—some of them without firing pins—descending on their fair city with lots of money, Tennessee legislators decided to pass some laws as a payback. One attempted gift was to repeal a 2009 state law allowing local officials to ban guns in parks. (State legislatures that demand states’ rights always want the rights to stay at the state level and not let municipalities benefit from the philosophy of local rule.) The bill did allow local parks to leave up their “no guns allowed” signs. Gun toters could carry guns—with or without pins—into parks while the signs banning guns there could stay. State Rep. Mike Harrison (R) thought the measure would be hospitable to people who come to Nashville for the NRA convention this week.

The bill hit a bad snag in the state senate after Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D) introduced an amendment permitting guns to be legally carried in the state capitol. The Senate passed the measure with that amendment, but the House rejected it, tossing the bill with the amendment back into the Senate. It’s a serious case of “not in my backyard” syndrome. The legislature wanted to have the bill operational as a law for the upcoming weekend, but Gov. Bill Haslam (R) may not rush to sign it even if it gets passed: he wasn’t invited to speak at the NRA convention.

Not everyone is bending over backward for the NRA convention. Haslam also told eight highway patrol officers that they couldn’t provide security for the event in their off hours because the use of their patrol cars would cost too much. Off-duty Nashville officers are getting paid about $200,000 for the security.

Haslam did sign a bill allowing workers to sue employers if they are fired for storing guns in cars parked on company lots, despite their employers’ wishes. The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce had opposed the bill.

ramboAmmosexuals have taken to openly carrying military-style firearms near schools, causing terror within the school and excessive expenditures in calling the police to see if this is a “bad guy.” Leonard Embody, known as the “Radnor Lake Rambo,” prone to passing his personal message about the Second Amendment, upset his community when he walked around with AR-15’s and swords. State officials showed a modicum of sanity in 2013 when they revoked his carry permit and deemed him a “material likelihood of risk of harm to the public.” (He did keep his Federal Firearms License, allowing him to sell fully automatic weapons; he just can’t carry real guns.)

In an attempt to solve the problem but keep the NRA happy, the legislature passed a law banning “an explosive weapon, permanently disabled firearm, hoax device, imitation firearm, machete, or sword” within 150 feet of a school.  State House GOP spokesman Cade Cothren assured people that real guns don’t fall under the definition of “explosive weapon.” He also claimed that the schools were protected by the federal “Guns Free School Zones” act, making it illegal for anyone who doesn’t have a permit from taking a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. People with permits, however have no restriction on how close they can get to schools with firearms. Harrison said that the law will stop the Embody’s demonstrations. It just doesn’t stop people carrying real guns near schools.

The people who will attend the gun-free concert and shop for guns with no firing pins as mandated by the NRA are the same people who believe that the Second Amendment allows open carry everywhere. That includes restaurants and outside schools where they terrify people. They’re the same people who protest and threaten boycotts when they’re asked to leave their AR-15’s in their vehicles.

gun open carry The NRA has banned guns at its earlier conventions. Last year in Indianapolis, they couldn’t carry in Lucas Oil Stadium, and Charlotte (NC) restricted concealed carry at the entire 2010 convention. NRA member Dan Utz, who says that he tries to never go anyplace where he can’t carry his gun now says that he may have to break his rule. He did grumble, however:

“I paid for the tickets and they’re non-refundable, so I will probably go. Had I known before, I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t have, but I would have strongly considered not [going].”

Utz is most likely not staying at the Courtyard Marriott or Sheraton; both Nashville hotels ban guns, even with permits.

Here are some other places displaying gun sense:

  • Washington: Last November, state voters approved an expanded background checks initiative, and the legislature passed another measure to begin protecting women from domestic violence.
  • Oregon: Senate Bill 941, requiring expanded background checks among gun buyers, passed a Senate committee and moved to the floor for a vote.
  • Arizona: Four dangerous, NRA-backed billed died in the Arizona state legislature. Among them was one bill that would have let people carry concealed, loaded guns into government buildings and public sporting events, and another one which would have unconstitutionally nullified federal gun laws as they apply to Arizona.
  • Iowa: The Iowa Senate rejected an omnibus gun bill weakening the gun permitting process and eliminating background checks on private handgun sales.
  • Virginia: Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed three gun bills, including two that would make it easier for individuals to carry concealed weapons in public.
  • West Virginia: Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a bill eliminating the permit requirement for concealed carry and any mandated gun safety training courses.
  • Montana: Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock bills that would allow almost any adult to carry a concealed weapon in Montana without a permit and that would stop Montana officials from enforcing federal laws on gun magazine ownership.
  • North Dakota: The state defeated a House measure that would allow concealed-carry permit holders to take guns to schools.
  • Michigan: Ann Arbor Public Schools has pledged to ban all guns from school property, even if the action prompts a lawsuit by open carry advocates.

Six states enacted new laws to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers in 2014, and another dozen states are considering similar legislation this year.

Customers at a new “gun store” on the Lower East Side of New York City are changing their minds about buying guns. As they shop, clerks tell them about all the people that the type of firearm has killed—a nine-month-old killed by his five-year-old brother, the 20 children at Sandy Hook killed by Adam Lanza, a gun instructor killed by his nine-year-old student, 12 people in an Aurora (CO) theater killed by James Holmes, etc. One woman said, “My opinion has definitely changed. I don’t feel safe with a gun.”

If the NRA doesn’t want guns at its convention and the legislature doesn’t want guns in their chambers, it’s probably a good idea for everyone else.



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